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Sunspots in the Laboratory

  • John Duffy
  • Eric O'N. Fisher

We show that extrinsic or nonfundamental uncertainty influences markets in a controlled environment. This work provides the first direct evidence of sunspot equilibria. These equilibria require a common understanding of the semantics of the sunspot variable, and they appear to be sensitive to the flow of information. Sunspots always occur in a closed-book call market, but they happen only occasionally in a double auction, where inframarginal bids and offers are observable.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 510-529

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:510-529
Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201350
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  1. Ramon Marimon & Stephen E. Spear & Shyam Sunder, 1993. "Expectationally-driven market volatility: An experimental study," Economics Working Papers 21, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Brandts, Jordi & Holt, Charles A, 1992. "An Experimental Test of Equilibrium Dominance in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1350-65, December.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
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  5. AUMANN, Robert J., . "Subjectivity and correlation in randomized strategies," CORE Discussion Papers RP -167, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  8. Brandts Jordi & Macleod W. Bentley, 1995. "Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Games with Recommended Play," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 36-63, October.
  9. Colin F. Camerer, 1998. "Can Asset Markets Be Manipulated? A Field Experiment with Racetrack Betting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 457-482, June.
  10. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-70, August.
  11. Peck, James & Shell, Karl, 1991. "Market Uncertainty: Correlated and Sunspot Equilibria in Imperfectly Competitive Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1011-29, October.
  12. Lei, Vivian & Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R, 2001. "Nonspeculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality vs. Actual Irrationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 831-59, July.
  13. Plott, Charles R. & Gray, Peter, 1990. "The multiple unit double auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 245-258, March.
  14. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  15. Azariadis, Costas & Guesnerie, Roger, 1986. "Sunspots and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 725-37, October.
  16. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  17. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
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