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Herd Behavior and Investment

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  • Scharfstein, David S
  • Stein, Jeremy C

Abstract

This paper examines some of the forces that can lead to herd behavior in investment. Under certain circumstances, managers simply mimic the investment decisions of other managers, ignoring substantive private information. Although this behavior is inefficient from a social standpoint, it can be rational from the perspective of managers who are concerned about their reputations in the labor market. The authors discuss applications of the model to corporate investment, the stock markets, and decision-making within firms. Copyright 1990 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:80:y:1990:i:3:p:465-79
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    2. Weitzman, Martin L, 1982. "Increasing Returns and the Foundations of Unemployment Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 787-804, December.
    3. Nalebuff, Barry J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Information, Competition, and Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 278-283, May.
    4. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1986. "A "Signal-Jamming" Theory of Predation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(3), pages 366-376, Autumn.
    5. Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. "Implementation Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1163-1190, December.
    6. Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Human Fallibility and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 292-297, May.
    7. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Alternative Mechanisms for Corporate Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 842-852, September.
    8. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    9. Xavier Gabaix & Arvind Krishnamurthy & Olivier Vigneron, 2007. "Limits of Arbitrage: Theory and Evidence from the Mortgage-Backed Securities Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 557-595, April.
    10. Hellwig, Martin F., 1980. "On the aggregation of information in competitive markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-498, June.
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