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A Bayesian approach to experimental analysis: trading in a laboratory financial market

  • Marco Cipriani


  • Riccardo Costantini


  • Antonio Guarino


We employ a Bayesian approach to analyze financial markets experimental data. We estimate a structural model of sequential trading in which trading decisions are classified in five types: private-information based, noise, herd, contrarian and irresolute. Through Monte Carlo simulation, we estimate the posterior distributions of the structural parameters. This technique allows us to compare several non-nested models of trade arrival. We find that the model best fitting the data is that in which a proportion of trades stems from subjects who do not rely only on their private information once the difference between the number of previous buy and sell decisions is at least two. In this model, the majority of trades stem from subjects following their private information. There is also a large proportion of noise trading activity, which is biased towards buying the asset. We observe little herding and contrarianism, as theory suggests. Finally, we observe a significant proportion of (irresolute) subjects who follow their own private information when it agrees with public information, but abstain from trading when it does not. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economic Design.

Volume (Year): 16 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 175-191

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Handle: RePEc:spr:reecde:v:16:y:2012:i:2:p:175-191
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  1. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-48, September.
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