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How Noise Trading Affects Markets: An Experimental Analysis

Author

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  • Robert Bloomfield
  • Maureen O'Hara
  • Gideon Saar

Abstract

We use a laboratory market to investigate the behavior of traders who lack informational advantages and have no exogenous reason to trade. We find that these uninformed traders behave largely as irrational contrarian "noise traders," trading against recent price movements to their own detriment. The uninformed traders provide some benefits to the market: increasing market volume and depth, while reducing bid-ask spreads and the temporary price impact of trades. However, their noise trading also diminishes the ability of market prices to adjust to new information. A securities transaction tax reduces uninformed trader activity, but it reduces informed trader activity by approximately the same amount; as a result, the tax does not alter the impact of noise trading on the informational efficiency of the market. The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Bloomfield & Maureen O'Hara & Gideon Saar, 2009. "How Noise Trading Affects Markets: An Experimental Analysis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2275-2302, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:6:p:2275-2302
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