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Price manipulation in an experimental asset market

  • Veiga, Helena
  • Vorsatz, Marc

We analyze in the laboratory whether an uninformed trader is able to manipulate the price of a financial asset by comparing the results of two experimental treatments. In the benchmark treatment, 12 subjects trade a common value asset that takes either a high or a low value. Only three subjects know the actual value of the asset while the market is open for trading. The manipulation treatment is identical to the benchmark treatment apart from the fact that we introduce a computer program as an additional uninformed trader. This robot buys a fixed number of shares in the beginning of a trading period and sells them again afterwards. Our main result shows that the last contract price is significantly higher in the manipulation treatment if the asset takes a low value and that private information is very well disseminated by both markets if the value of the asset is high. Finally, even though this simple manipulation program loses money on average, it is profitable in some instances.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 327-342

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:3:p:327-342
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Archishman Chakraborty & Bilge Yilmaz, . "Informed Manipulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 07-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  17. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1991. "Information Mirages in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 463-93, October.
  18. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  19. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2007. "Outcome Manipulation in Corporate Prediction Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 554-563, 04-05.
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