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Herd Behavior and Contagion in Financial Markets

Listed author(s):
  • Cipriani Marco

    ()

    (George Washington University and IMF)

  • Guarino Antonio

    ()

    (University College London)

We study a sequential trading financial market where there are gains from trade, that is, where informed traders have heterogeneous private values. We show that an informational cascade (i.e., a complete blockage of information) arises and prices fail to aggregate information dispersed among traders. During an informational cascade, all traders with the same preferences choose the same action, following the market (herding) or going against it (contrarianism). We also study financial contagion by extending our model to a two-asset economy. We show that informational cascades in one market can be generated by informational spillovers from the other. Such spillovers have pathological consequences, generating long-lasting misalignments between prices and fundamentals.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-56

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:24
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