IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v54y2004i4p453-481.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The instability of a heterogeneous cobweb economy: a strategy experiment on expectation formation

Author

Listed:
  • Sonnemans, Joep
  • Hommes, Cars
  • Tuinstra, Jan
  • van de Velden, Henk

Abstract

Which strategies do agents use when forming expectations about future prices, and how often do combinations of these strategies lead to stable or unstable outcomes? To answer these questions we performed a four-round strategy experiment in a cobweb economy. Each market consisted of 20 periods and in each period strategies had to forecast next period's price. It was common knowledge that the realized market price was a function of all individual expectations, but subjects did not know the underlying market equilibrium equations. Subjects gained experience in a 'normal' experiment before submitting their first strategy. All strategies were programmed and after each round the subjects received feedback about the relative performance of their strategy, and were allowed to revise their strategy for the next round. Subjects use a wide variety of different strategies. Over the rounds quadratic forecasting errors decrease and realized market prices move to a neighborhood of the rational expectations (RE) steady state, but at the same time the complexity of the price fluctuations increases. Convergence to the unique RE steady state occurs in less than 10% of all cases. In the final round 60% of the price fluctuations appears to be chaotic. Strategy simulations with homogeneous agents typically show regular behaviour, with prices converging to a steady state or to a 'far from the steady state' stable cycle. Heterogeneous interaction of simple prediction strategies thus seems to be the main source of the endogenous price fluctuations, frequently leading to a boundedly rational equilibrium of 'close to the steady state chaos'.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Sonnemans, Joep & Hommes, Cars & Tuinstra, Jan & van de Velden, Henk, 2004. "The instability of a heterogeneous cobweb economy: a strategy experiment on expectation formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 453-481, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:54:y:2004:i:4:p:453-481
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(03)00167-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
    2. Reinhard Selten & Michael Mitzkewitz & Gerald R. Uhlich, 1997. "Duopoly Strategies Programmed by Experienced Players," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 517-556, May.
    3. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
    4. Robert J. Shiller, 1999. "Measuring Bubble Expectations and Investor Confidence," NBER Working Papers 7008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sunder, S., 1992. "Experimental Asset Markets: A Survey," GSIA Working Papers 1992-19, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    6. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Froot, Kenneth A, 1987. "Using Survey Data to Test Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 133-153, March.
    7. Chiarella, Carl, 1988. "The cobweb model: Its instability and the onset of chaos," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 377-384, October.
    8. Marimon, Ramon & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Indeterminacy of Equilibria in a Hyperinflationary World: Experimental Evidence," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1073-1107, September.
    9. Arifovic, Jasmina, 1994. "Genetic algorithm learning and the cobweb model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-28, January.
    10. Alan Kirman, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-156.
    11. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Verbon, Harrie A. A., 2001. "Cooperation in an Overlapping Generations Experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 264-275, August.
    12. Arthur, W.B. & Holland, J.H. & LeBaron, B. & Palmer, R. & Tayler, P., 1996. "Asset Pricing Under Endogenous Expectations in an Artificial Stock Market," Working papers 9625, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    13. Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Strategies of search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 309-332, April.
    14. Hommes, C.H. & Sonnemans, J. & Tuinstra, J. & van de Velden, H., 1999. "Expectation Driven Price Volatility in an Experimental Cobweb Economy," CeNDEF Working Papers 99-07, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    15. repec:cup:macdyn:v:2:y:1998:i:3:p:287-321 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Allen, Helen & Taylor, Mark P, 1990. "Charts, Noise and Fundamentals in the London Foreign Exchange Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(400), pages 49-59, Supplemen.
    17. Sonnemans, Joep, 2000. "Decisions and strategies in a sequential search experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 91-102, February.
    18. Hommes, Cars & Sorger, Gerhard, 1998. "Consistent Expectations Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 287-321, September.
    19. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2009. "The Conquest of South American Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 211-256, April.
    20. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
    21. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    22. 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.
    23. Topol, Richard, 1991. "Bubbles and Volatility of Stock Prices: Effect of Mimetic Contagion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 786-800, July.
    24. Lux, Thomas, 1995. "Herd Behaviour, Bubbles and Crashes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 881-896, July.
    25. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945.
    26. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth A. Froot, 1985. "Using Survey Data to Test Some Standard Propositions Regarding Exchange Rate Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-1160, September.
    28. Hommes, Cars H., 1994. "Dynamics of the cobweb model with adaptive expectations and nonlinear supply and demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 315-335, August.
    29. 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 1119-1151, September.
    30. Hommes, C.H., 1999. "Cobweb Dynamics under Bounded Rationality," CeNDEF Working Papers 99-05, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Troy Tassier, 2013. "Handbook of Research on Complexity, by J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. and Edward Elgar," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 132-133.
    2. Antonio Doria, Francisco, 2011. "J.B. Rosser Jr. , Handbook of Research on Complexity, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK--Northampton, MA, USA (2009) 436 + viii pp., index, ISBN 978 1 84542 089 5 (cased)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 196-204, April.
    3. Hommes, Cars & Sonnemans, Joep & Tuinstra, Jan & Van De Velden, Henk, 2007. "Learning In Cobweb Experiments," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(S1), pages 8-33, November.
    4. Hommes, Cars, 2018. "Behavioral & experimental macroeconomics and policy analysis: a complex systems approach," Working Paper Series 2201, European Central Bank.
    5. Heemeijer, Peter & Hommes, Cars & Sonnemans, Joep & Tuinstra, Jan, 2009. "Price stability and volatility in markets with positive and negative expectations feedback: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1052-1072, May.
    6. Hommes, Cars H., 2006. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1109-1186, Elsevier.
    7. Hommes, Cars, 2011. "The heterogeneous expectations hypothesis: Some evidence from the lab," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-24, January.
    8. Cars Hommes & Florian Wagener, 2008. "Complex Evolutionary Systems in Behavioral Finance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-054/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    9. Cars H. Hommes, 2009. "Bounded Rationality and Learning in Complex Markets," Chapters, in: J. Barkley Rosser Jr. (ed.), Handbook of Research on Complexity, chapter 5, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Cars Hommes, 2006. "Interacting Agents in Finance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-029/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. Hommes, C.H., 2005. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance, In: Handbook of Computational Economics II: Agent-Based Computational Economics, edited by Leigh Tesfatsion and Ken Judd , Elsevier, Amsterdam 2006," CeNDEF Working Papers 05-03, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    12. Hommes, C.H., 2006. "Interacting agents in finance, entry written for the New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, edited by L. Blume and S. Durlauf, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2006," CeNDEF Working Papers 06-01, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    13. Duffy, John, 2006. "Agent-Based Models and Human Subject Experiments," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1011, Elsevier.
    14. Detlef Seese & Christof Weinhardt & Frank Schlottmann (ed.), 2008. "Handbook on Information Technology in Finance," International Handbooks on Information Systems, Springer, number 978-3-540-49487-4, Fall.
    15. Youwei Li & Xue-Zhong He, 2005. "Long Memory, Heterogeneity, and Trend Chasing," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 113, Society for Computational Economics.
    16. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2005. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 955-980.
    17. Brock, W.A. & Hommes, C.H. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2001. "Evolutionary Dynamics in Financial Markets With Many Trader Types," CeNDEF Working Papers 01-01, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    18. He, Xue-Zhong & Li, Youwei, 2007. "Power-law behaviour, heterogeneity, and trend chasing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3396-3426, October.
    19. Goeree, Jacob K. & Hommes, Cars H., 2000. "Heterogeneous beliefs and the non-linear cobweb model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(5-7), pages 761-798, June.
    20. repec:ams:ndfwpp:02-07 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Hommes, C.H. & Sonnemans, J. & Tuinstra, J. & Velden, H. van de, 2004. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments (Version March 2004)," CeNDEF Working Papers 04-02, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:54:y:2004:i:4:p:453-481. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.