Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Can fear cause economic collapse? Insights from an experimental study

Contents:

Author Info

  • Guarino, Antonio
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Jeitschko, Thomas D.

Abstract

We study the behavior of experimental subjects who have to make a sequence of risky investment decisions in the presence of network externalities. Subjects follow a simple heuristic – investing after positive experiences and reducing their propensity to invest after a failure. This result contrasts with the theoretical findings of Jeitschko and Taylor (2001) in which even agents who have only good experiences eventually stop investing because they are afraid that others with worse experiences will quit. In theory, this Bayesian fear can trigger sudden economic collapse – even in the most efficient Bayesian equilibrium. In the experiment, subjects are surprisingly fearless of others’ experiences, and simply follow their own experiences, thus averting a total collapse. -- Wir untersuchen das Verhalten experimenteller Subjekte, die in Anwesenheit von Netzexternalitäten (externen Effekten) eine Reihe von riskanten Investitionsentscheidungen machen sollen. Die Subjekte folgen einer einfachen Heuristik – sie investieren nach positiven Erfahrungen, nach einem Misserfolg reduzieren sie ihre Investitionsneigung. Diese Resultate stehen im Gegensatz zu den theoretischen Befunden von Jeitschko und Taylor (2001), in welchen sogar die Agenten, die ausschließlich positive Erfahrungen gemacht haben, schließlich aufhören zu investieren, weil sie Angst haben, dass die anderen, mit schlechteren Erfahrungen, ausscheiden werden. Theoretisch kann diese Bayesianische Angst einen plötzlichen Wirtschaftszusammenbruch auslösen – auch in dem effizientesten Bayesianischen Gleichgewicht. Im Experiment sind die Subjekte überraschend furchtlos bezüglich der Erfahrungen der anderen. Sie folgen einfach nur eigenen Erfahrungen und verhindern so den totalen Zusammenbruch.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/51133/1/38574854X.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2004-05.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200405

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Reichpietschufer 50, 10785 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 25491-402
Fax: +49 (0)30 25491-400
Email:
Web page: http://www.wzb.eu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Coordination; coordination avalanche; economic collapse; experimental economics; network externalities;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Van Huyck, John B. & Cook, Joseph P. & Battalio, Raymond C., 1997. "Adaptive behavior and coordination failure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 483-503, April.
  2. Curtis R. Taylor & Thomas D. Jeitschko, 2001. "Local Discouragement and Global Collapse: A Theory of Coordination Avalanches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 208-224, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Mathias Drehmann & Jörg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2005. "Herding with and without Payoff Externalities - An Internet Experiment," Working Papers, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics 0420, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2005.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200405. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.