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Informational Externalities, Herding, and Incentives

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  • Lluís Bru
  • Xavier Vives

Abstract

A version of the herding prediction model with a rational-expectations flavor is reexamined in the light of incentive theory. The welfare loss at the market solution with respect to the incentive-efficient solution can be decomposed into an information externality term minus an incentive cost term. It is found that the inefficiency of herding at the market solution is low when the cost of providing incentives is high. When the cost of providing incentives is low (and this happens when prior information is diffuse), the incentive-efficient solution approaches the team solution that fully internalizes the information externality. Then the herding problem at the market solution is at its worst.

Suggested Citation

  • Lluís Bru & Xavier Vives, 2002. "Informational Externalities, Herding, and Incentives," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(1), pages 1-91, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200203)158:1_91:iehai_2.0.tx_2-_
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vives, Xavier, 1996. "Social learning and rational expectations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 589-601, April.
    2. Xavier Vives, 1993. "How Fast do Rational Agents Learn?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 329-347.
    3. Laffont, Jean-Jacques M, 1985. "On the Welfare Analysis of Rational Expectations Equilibria with Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 1-29, January.
    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. 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. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
    7. Gul, Faruk & Lundholm, Russell, 1995. "Endogenous Timing and the Clustering of Agents' Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1039-1066, October.
    8. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
    9. Vives, X., 1993. "Learning from Others," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 206.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
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    Cited by:

    1. Rodriguez Mora, Jose V. & Schulstad, Paul, 2007. "The effect of GNP announcements on fluctuations of GNP growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1922-1940, November.
    2. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2013. "Trading frenzies and their impact on real investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 566-582.
    3. Kathy Yuan & Emre Ozdenoren & Itay Goldstein, 2008. "Learning and Complementarities: Implications for Speculative Attacks," 2008 Meeting Papers 276, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Christoph Engel, 2004. "Social Dilemmas, Revisited from a Heuristics Perspective," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2004_4, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    5. Makoto Nirei & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2014. "Beauty Contests and Fat Tails in Financial Markets," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 024, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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