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Riding the South Sea Bubble

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  • Peter Temin
  • Hans-Joachim Voth

Abstract

This paper presents a case study of a well-informed investor in the South Sea bubble. We argue that Hoare's Bank, a fledgling West End London bank, knew that a bubble was in progress and nonetheless invested in the stock: it was profitable to "ride the bubble." Using a unique dataset on daily trades, we show that this sophisticated investor was not constrained by such institutional factors as restrictions on short sales or agency problems. Instead, this study demonstrates that predictable investor sentiment can prevent attacks on a bubble; rational investors may attack only when some coordinating event promotes joint action.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Temin & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2004. "Riding the South Sea Bubble," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1654-1668, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:5:p:1654-1668 Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828043052268
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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