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Informational cascades: A mirage?


  • Spiwoks, Markus
  • Bizer, Kilian
  • Hein, Oliver


Experimental research found contradictory results regarding the occurrence of informational cascades. Whereas Anderson and Holt [Anderson, L.R., Holt, C.A., 1997. Information cascades in the laboratory. The American Economic Review 87, 847-862] confirmed the model of Banerjee [Banerjee, A.V., 1992. A simple model of herd behavior. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 107, 797-817], and Bikhchandani et al. [Bikhchandani, S., Hishleifer, D., Welch, I., 1992. A theory of fads, fashion, custom, and cultural change as informational cascades. Journal of Political Economy 100, 992-1026] through lab tests, Huck and Oechssler [Huck, S., Oechssler, J., 2000. Informational cascades in the laboratory: do they occur for the right reasons? Journal of Economic Psychology 21, 661-671] came to contradictory results on crucial issues. This article presents experimental evidence supporting further doubts concerning "Bayesian" informational cascades: just under two thirds of all decisions are characterized by an excessive orientation towards the private signal, and only a small number of the subjects (

Suggested Citation

  • Spiwoks, Markus & Bizer, Kilian & Hein, Oliver, 2008. "Informational cascades: A mirage?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 193-199, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:193-199

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angela A. Hung & Charles R. Plott, 2001. "Information Cascades: Replication and an Extension to Majority Rule and Conformity-Rewarding Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1508-1520, December.
    2. Daniel Sgroi, 2003. "The Right Choice at the Right Time: A Herding Experiment in Endogenous Time," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(2), pages 159-180, October.
    3. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2004. "A model of noisy introspection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 365-382, February.
    4. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    5. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-862, December.
    6. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 2004. "Through Trial and Error to Collusion," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 205-224, February.
    7. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
    8. Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jorg, 2000. "Informational cascades in the laboratory: Do they occur for the right reasons?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 661-671, December.
    9. Selten, Reinhard & Abbink, Klaus & Buchta, Joachim & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2003. "How to play (3 x 3)-games.: A strategy method experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 19-37, October.
    10. Bogaçhan Çelen & Shachar Kariv, 2004. "Distinguishing Informational Cascades from Herd Behavior in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 484-498, June.
    11. Charles A. Holt & Jacob K. Goeree, 1999. "Stochastic Game Theory: For Playing Games, Not Just for Doing Theory," Virginia Economics Online Papers 306, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rui Leite & Aurora Teixeira, 2012. "Innovation diffusion with heterogeneous networked agents: a computational model," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 7(2), pages 125-144, October.
    2. Demirer, Riza & Kutan, Ali M. & Chen, Chun-Da, 2010. "Do investors herd in emerging stock markets?: Evidence from the Taiwanese market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 283-295, November.

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