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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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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0002828054201350
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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. 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.
  2. Macleod, B. & Brandts, J., 1992. "Equilibrium Selection in Experimental Games with Recommended Play," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 164.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. 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.
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  5. Marimon Ramon & Spear Stephen E. & Sunder Shyam, 1993. "Expectationally Driven Market Volatility: An Experimental Study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 74-103, October.
  6. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  7. 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.
  8. Lei, V. & Noussair, C. & Plott, C.R., 1998. "Non-Speculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality Vs. Actual Irrationality," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1120, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Azariadis, Costas, 1981. "Self-fulfilling prophecies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 380-396, December.
  12. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  13. Azariadis, Costas & Guesnerie, Roger, 1986. "Sunspots and Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 725-37, October.
  14. 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.
  15. Van Huyck, John B. & Gillette, Ann B. & Battalio, Raymond C., 1992. "Credible assignments in coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 606-626, October.
  16. 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.
  17. Plott, Charles R. & Gray, Peter, 1990. "The multiple unit double auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 245-258, March.
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