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Relative Wealth Concerns and Financial Bubbles

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  • Peter M. DeMarzo
  • Ron Kaniel
  • Ilan Kremer

Abstract

We present a rational general equilibrium model that highlights the fact that relative wealth concerns can play a role in explaining financial bubbles. We consider a finite-horizon overlapping generations model in which agents care only about their consumption. Though the horizon is finite, competition over future investment opportunities makes agents' utilities dependent on the wealth of their cohort and induces relative wealth concerns. Agents herd into risky securities and drive down their expected return. Even though the bubble is likely to burst and lead to a substantial loss, agents' relative wealth concerns make them afraid to trade against the crowd. The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter M. DeMarzo & Ron Kaniel & Ilan Kremer, 2008. "Relative Wealth Concerns and Financial Bubbles," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 19-50, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:1:p:19-50
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhm032
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