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Herd Behavior in Financial Markets: An Experiment with Financial Market Professionals

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  • Marco Cipriani
  • Antonio Guarino

Abstract

We study herd behavior in a laboratory financial market with financial market professionals. An important novelty of the experimental design is the use of a strategy-like method. This allows us to detect herd behavior directly by observing subjects' decisions for all realizations of their private signal. In the paper, we compare two treatments: one in which the price adjusts to the order flow in such a way that herding should never occur, and one in which the presence of event uncertainty makes herding possible. In the first treatment, subjects seldom herd, in accordance with both the theory and previous experimental evidence on student subjects. A proportion of subjects, however, engage in contrarianism, something not accounted for by the theory. In the second treatment, the proportion of herding decisions increases, but not as much as the theory would suggest. Moreover, contrarianism disappears altogether. In both treatments, in contrast with what theory predicts, subjects sometimes prefer to abstain from trading, which affects the process of price discovery negatively. (JEL: C92, D82, G14) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

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  • Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, 2009. "Herd Behavior in Financial Markets: An Experiment with Financial Market Professionals," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 206-233, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:1:p:206-233
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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, 2014. "Estimating a Structural Model of Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 224-251, January.
    2. Alain Cohn & Jan Engelmann & Ernst Fehr & Michel André Maréchal, 2015. "Evidence for Countercyclical Risk Aversion: An Experiment with Financial Professionals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 860-885, February.
    3. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2016. "Field Experiments in Markets," NBER Working Papers 22113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Pop, Raluca Elena, 2012. "Herd behavior towards the market index: evidence from Romanian stock exchange," MPRA Paper 51595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. List, John A. & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Giovanni Ferri & Andrea Morone, 2014. "The effect of rating agencies on herd behaviour," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 9(1), pages 107-127, April.
    7. Christoph March & Sebastian Krügel & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2012. "Do We Follow Private Information when We Should? Laboratory Evidence on Nave Herding," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-002, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    8. Roberta De Filippis & Antonio Guarino & Philippe Jehiel & Toru Kitagawa, 2016. "Updating ambiguous beliefs in a social learning experiment," CeMMAP working papers CWP18/16, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2012. "Financial crisis and extreme market risks: Evidence from Europe," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 120-130.
    10. Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner & Utz Weitzel, 2016. "Rankings and Risk-Taking in the Finance Industry," Working Papers 2016-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck, revised Mar 2018.
    11. Marco Angrisani & Antonio Guarino & Philippe Jehiel & Toru Kitagawa, 2017. "Information redundancy neglect versus overconfidence: a social learning experiment," CeMMAP working papers CWP32/17, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    12. repec:oup:revfin:v:22:y:2018:i:3:p:877-904. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Oliver Schnusenberg & Chung-Ping Loh & Katrin Nihalani, 2013. "The Role of Financial Wellbeing, Sociopolitical Attitude, Self-Interest, and Lifestyle in One’s Attitude Toward Social Health Insurance," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 369-381, August.
    14. Cipriani, Marco & Guarino, Antonio & Guazzarotti, Giovanni & Tagliati, Federico & Fischer, Sven, 2015. "Informational contagion in the laboratory," Staff Reports 715, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    15. Chung-Ping Loh & Katrin Nihalani & Oliver Schnusenberg, 2012. "Measuring attitude toward social health insurance," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(6), pages 707-722, December.
    16. repec:eee:jeborg:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:85-98 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Hintermann, Beat, 2010. "Allowance price drivers in the first phase of the EU ETS," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 43-56, January.
    18. repec:eee:spacre:v:18:y:2015:i:1:p:78-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Christopher Boortz & Stephanie Kremer & Simon Jurkatis & Dieter Nautz, 2014. "Information Risk, Market Stress and Institutional Herding in Financial Markets: New Evidence Through the Lens of a Simulated Model," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2014-029, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    20. Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner & Utz Weitzel, 2018. "Delegated decision making and social competition in the finance industry," Working Papers 2018-07, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    21. repec:kap:compec:v:50:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10614-016-9607-y is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Christoph March & Sebastian Krügel & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2012. "Do We Follow Private Information when We Should? Laboratory Evidence on Naive Herding," Working Papers halshs-00671378, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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