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The Right Choice at the Right Time: A Herding Experiment in Endogenous Time

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  • Daniel Sgroi

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Abstract

Herding describes the phenomenon in decision-making where an economic agent disregards his own private information to follow the actions of his predecessors as in Banerjee (1992). With later decision-makers simply copying earlier decisions their private information cannot be inferred by other decision-makers and will be forever lost. There is some experimental evidence on simple sequential herding of this type in the literature, notably Anderson and Holt (1997). This paper differs by allowing subjects to delay their decision-making in order to benefit from observing others' actions as in more recent herding models such as Chamley and Gale (1994). The results in this paper suggest that subjects will indeed delay when their private information is not sufficiently strong. Despite this ability to wait, as predicted in the theoretical literature, cascades remained ubiquitous and more worrying still, reverse-cascades occurred in which incorrect decisions made by early decision-makers produced informational cascades on the wrong action. In an alternative design, informing subjects that they had made incorrect choices only made matters worse as subjects moved further away from rational behavior. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:6:y:2003:i:2:p:159-180
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1025357004821
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Louise Allsopp & John Hey, 2000. "Two Experiments to Test a Model of Herd Behaviour," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 121-136, October.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
    6. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1991. "Information Mirages in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 463-493, October.
    7. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1987. "Rational Models of Irrational Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 137-142, May.
    8. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
    9. Sgroi, Daniel, 2002. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profits, and Welfare," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 137-166, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morone, Andrea & Fiore, Annamaria & Sandri, Serena, 2007. "On the absorbability of herd behaviour and informational cascades: an experimental analysis," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 15/07, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    2. Baddeley, M. & Burke, C. & Schultz, W. & Tobler, P., 2012. "Herding in Financial Behaviour: A Behavioural and Neuroeconomic Analysis of Individual Differences," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1225, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Andreas Park & Daniel Sgroi, 2008. "Herding and Contrarianism in a Financial Trading Experiment with Endogenous Timing," Working Papers tecipa-341, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    4. Boğaçhan Çelen & Kyle Hyndman, 2012. "An experiment of social learning with endogenous timing," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 251-268, September.
    5. Proto, Eugenio & Sgroi, Daniel, 2017. "Biased beliefs and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 186-202.
    6. Tao Wang, 2011. "Dynamic Equilibrium Bunching," Working Papers 1291, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    7. Jonathan E. Alevy & Michael S. Haigh & John List, 2006. "Information Cascades: Evidence from An Experiment with Financial Market Professionals," NBER Working Papers 12767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wang, Tao, 2017. "Information revelation through bunching," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 568-582.
    9. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Asen Ivanov & Dan Levin & James Peck, 2009. "Hindsight, Foresight, and Insight: An Experimental Study of a Small-Market Investment Game with Common and Private Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1484-1507, September.
    12. Stone, Daniel F. & Miller, Steven J., 2013. "Leading, learning and herding," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 222-231.
    13. Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Hüning, Hendrik, 2013. "A comparison of endogenous and exogenous timing in a social learning experiment," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 167, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Jason Shachat & Anand Srinivasan, 2011. "Informational Price Cascades and Non-aggregation of Asymmetric Information in Experimental Asset Markets," Working Papers 1102, Xiamen Unversity, The Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, Finance and Economics Experimental Laboratory, revised 14 Apr 2011.
    15. Annamaria Fiore & Andrea Morone, 2005. "Is playing alone in the darkness sufficient to prevent informational cascades?," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    16. repec:spr:jeicoo:v:12:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11403-015-0156-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Brindisi, Francesco & Çelen, Boğaçhan & Hyndman, Kyle, 2014. "The effect of endogenous timing on coordination under asymmetric information: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 264-281.
    18. David Hirshleifer & Siew Hong Teoh, 2003. "Herd Behaviour and Cascading in Capital Markets: a Review and Synthesis," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(1), pages 25-66.
    19. repec:feb:framed:0003 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Park, Andreas & Sgroi, Daniel, 2012. "Herding, contrarianism and delay in financial market trading," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1020-1037.
    21. Spiwoks, Markus & Bizer, Kilian & Hein, Oliver, 2008. "Informational cascades: A mirage?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 193-199, July.
    22. Ivanov, Asen & Levin, Dan & Peck, James, 2013. "Behavioral biases in endogenous-timing herding games: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 25-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    learning; herding; delay;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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