Price Destabilizing Speculation
It is sometimes asserted that rational speculative activity must result in more stable prices because speculators buy when prices are low and sell when they are high. This is incorrect. Speculators buy when the chances of price appreciation are high, selling when the chances are low. Speculative activity in an economy in which all agents are rational, have identical priors, and have access to identical information may destabilize prices, under any reasonable definition of destabilization. It takes extremely strong conditions to ensure that speculative activity (of the commodity storage variety) "stabilizes" prices, even in a very weak sense.
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- Newbery, David M G & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Pareto Inferior Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 1-12, January.
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