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Sunspots in the Laboratory

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  • John Duffy
  • Eric O'N. Fisher

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Duffy & Eric O'N. Fisher, 2005. "Sunspots in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 510-529, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:510-529
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201350
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Shu-Heng Chen & Chung-Chih Liao & Pei-Jung Chou, 2008. "On the plausibility of sunspot equilibria," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 3(1), pages 25-41, June.
    3. Dietmar Fehr & Frank Heinemann & Aniol Llorente-Saguer, 2011. "The Power of Sunspots: An Experimental Analysis," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_33, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    4. Tiziana Assenza & Te Bao & Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro, 2014. "Experiments on Expectations in Macroeconomics and Finance," Research in Experimental Economics,in: Experiments in Macroeconomics, volume 17, pages 11-70 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    5. repec:spr:joecth:v:64:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00199-016-0998-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sean Crockett, 2013. "Price Dynamics In General Equilibrium Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 421-438, July.
    7. Shurchkov, Olga, 2016. "Public announcements and coordination in dynamic global games: Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 20-30.
    8. Ricciuti, Roberto, 2008. "Bringing macroeconomics into the lab," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 216-237, March.
    9. Jasmina Arifovic & Janet Hua Jiang, 2014. "Do Sunspots Matter? Evidence from an Experimental Study of Bank Runs," Staff Working Papers 14-12, Bank of Canada.
    10. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2010. "Behavioral Biases, Informational Externalities, and Efficiency in Endogenous-Timing Herding Games: an Experimental Study," Working Papers 1004, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. Slobodyan, Sergey, 2005. "Indeterminacy, sunspots, and development traps," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 159-185, January.
    12. Arifovic, J. & Hommes, C.H. & Salle, I., 2016. "Learning to believe in Simple Equilibria in a Complex OLG Economy - evidence from the lab," CeNDEF Working Papers 16-06, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    13. repec:pit:wpaper:334 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Siebert, Jan & Yang, Guanzhong, 2017. "Discoordination and miscoordination caused by sunspots in the laboratory," Working Papers on East Asian Studies 114/2017, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST.
    15. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Edward Simpson Prescott, 2014. "An Experimental Analysis of Contingent Capital with Market‐Price Triggers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 46(5), pages 999-1033, August.
    16. Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Bizer, Kilian & Spiwoks, Markus, 2015. "Strategic coordination in forecasting – An experimental study," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 155-162.
    17. Noemi Schmitt & Frank Westerhoff, 2017. "Heterogeneity, spontaneous coordination and extreme events within large-scale and small-scale agent-based financial market models," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(5), pages 1041-1070, November.
    18. Roos, Michael W.M., 2008. "Predicting the macroeconomic effects of abstract and concrete events," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 192-201, March.
    19. Bizer, Kilian & Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Spiwoks, Markus, 2014. "Strategic coordination in forecasting: An experimental study," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 195, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    20. Raphael H. Solomon, 2004. "When Bad Things Happen to Good Banks: Contagious Bank Runs and Currency Crises," Staff Working Papers 04-18, Bank of Canada.
    21. Fabrizio Orrego, 2014. "Habit formation and indeterminacy in overlapping generations models," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 225-241, January.
    22. Arifovic, Jasmina & Hua Jiang, Janet & Xu, Yiping, 2013. "Experimental evidence of bank runs as pure coordination failures," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2446-2465.
    23. Peter Hans Matthews, 2004. "Who is Post-Walrasian Man?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0412, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    24. Douglas Davis & Edward Simpson Prescott & Oleg Korenok, 2011. "An experimental analysis of contingent capital triggering mechanisms," Working Paper 11-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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