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A Speculative Futures Market with Zero-Intelligence


  • Leanne J Ussher

    () ([1] aDepartment of Economics, Queens College, CUNY, Flushing, New York 11367, USA. [2] bMulti Agent Systems Lagrange Laboratory, ISI Foundation, Turin 10133, Italy.)


This paper investigates the price formation of an artificial futures market with zero-intelligence traders. It extends the zero-intelligence model to speculative agents trading for immediacy on a futures exchange with open outcry, margin constraints, and real-time settlement. Like prior studies it finds that the imposition of scarcity, not intelligent optimization, is surprisingly good at producing allocative efficiency. The double auction trading mechanism even with open outcry and real-time settlement anchors prices to a dynamic Walrasian equilibrium, even when it is not unique. This study supports zero-intelligence agent-based methodology as a tool to isolate the impact of market microstructure, as opposed to information, on price formation. Eastern Economic Journal (2008) 34, 518–549. doi:10.1057/eej.2008.34

Suggested Citation

  • Leanne J Ussher, 2008. "A Speculative Futures Market with Zero-Intelligence," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 518-549.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:34:y:2008:i:4:p:518-549

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    Cited by:

    1. Lengnick, Matthias & Krug, Sebastian & Wohltmann, Hans-Werner, 2013. "Money creation and financial instability: An agent-based credit network approach," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 7, pages 1-44.

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