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Market Sentiment: A Tragedy of the Commons

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  • Tarek A. Hassan
  • Thomas M. Mertens

Abstract

We present a model in which investors decide whether or to what degree they want to allow their behavior to be influenced by "market sentiment." Investors who choose to insulate their decisions from market sentiment earn higher expected returns, but incur a small mental cost. We show that if information is moderately dispersed across investors, even a very small mental cost may result in a significant amount of sentiment in equilibrium: Individuals who choose to be swayed by sentiment increase uncertainty about the future and make it less costly for others to be swayed by sentiment as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Tarek A. Hassan & Thomas M. Mertens, 2011. "Market Sentiment: A Tragedy of the Commons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 402-405, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:402-05
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tarek A. Hassan & Thomas M. Mertens, 2017. "The Social Cost of Near-Rational Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1059-1103, April.
    2. Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vladimir Asriyan & William Fuchs & Brett Green, 2017. "Sentiment, liquidity and asset prices," Economics Working Papers 1583, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Tarek A. Hassan & Thomas M. Mertens, 2017. "The Social Cost of Near-Rational Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1059-1103, April.
    3. George-Marios Angeletos & Chen Lian, 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics: Accommodating Frictions in Coordination," NBER Working Papers 22297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS

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