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Evolution of Market Heuristics


  • Anufriev, M.

    () (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

  • Hommes, C.H.

    (Universiteit van Amsterdam)


The time evolution of aggregate economic variables, such as stock prices, is affected by market expectations of individual investors. Neo-classical economic theory assumes that individuals form expectations rationally, thus enforcing prices to track economic fundamentals and leading to an efficient allocation of resources. However, laboratory experiments with human subjects have shown that individuals do not behave fully rational but instead follow simple heuristics. In laboratory markets prices may show persistent deviations from fundamentals similar to the large swings observed in real stock prices. Here we show that evolutionary selection among simple forecasting heuristics can explain coordination of individual behavior leading to three different aggregate outcomes observed in recent laboratory market forecasting experiments: slow monotonic price convergence, oscillatory dampened price fluctuations and persistent price oscillations. In our model forecasting strategies are selected every period from a small population of plausible heuristics, such as adaptive expectations and trend following rules. Individuals adapt their strategies over time, based on the relative forecasting performance of the heuristics. As a result, the evolutionary switching mechanism exhibits path dependence and matches individual forecasting behavior as well as aggregate market outcomes in the experiments. Our results are in line with recent work on agent-based models of interaction and contribute to a behavioral explanation of universal features of financial markets.

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  • Anufriev, M. & Hommes, C.H., 2007. "Evolution of Market Heuristics," CeNDEF Working Papers 07-06, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:07-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
    2. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
    3. Eugene F. Fama & Kenneth R. French, 2002. "The Equity Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 637-659, April.
    4. Tesfatsion, Leigh & Judd, Kenneth L., 2006. "Handbook of Computational Economics, Vol. 2: Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10368, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Leigh Tesfatsion, 2002. "Agent-Based Computational Economics," Computational Economics 0203001, EconWPA, revised 15 Aug 2002.
    6. Arthur, W.B. & Holland, J.H. & LeBaron, B. & Palmer, R. & Tayler, P., 1996. "Asset Pricing Under Endogenous Expectations in an Artificial Stock Market," Working papers 9625, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    7. Cars Hommes & Joep Sonnemans & Jan Tuinstra & Henk van de Velden, 2005. "Coordination of Expectations in Asset Pricing Experiments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 955-980.
    8. LeBaron, Blake & Arthur, W. Brian & Palmer, Richard, 1999. "Time series properties of an artificial stock market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1487-1516, September.
    9. Hommes, Cars H., 2006. "Heterogeneous Agent Models in Economics and Finance," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1109-1186 Elsevier.
    10. Anufriev, M. & Hommes, C.H., 2007. "Evolution of Market Heuristics," CeNDEF Working Papers 07-06, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mikhail Anufriev & Cars Hommes, 2012. "Evolutionary Selection of Individual Expectations and Aggregate Outcomes in Asset Pricing Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 35-64, November.
    2. Panchenko, Valentyn & Gerasymchuk, Sergiy & Pavlov, Oleg V., 2013. "Asset price dynamics with heterogeneous beliefs and local network interactions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2623-2642.
    3. Hommes, C.H., 2007. "Complexity, Evolution and Learning: a simple story of heterogeneous expectations and some empirical and experimental validation," CeNDEF Working Papers 07-07, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    4. Mikhail Anufriev & Jasmina Arifovic & John Ledyard & Valentyn Panchenko, 2013. "Efficiency of continuous double auctions under individual evolutionary learning with full or limited information," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 539-573, July.
    5. Harrison, Richard & Taylor, Tim, 2012. "Non-rational expectations and the transmission mechanism," Bank of England working papers 448, Bank of England.
    6. Hommes, C.H. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2008. "Complex evolutionary systems in behavioral finance," CeNDEF Working Papers 08-05, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    7. Mikhail Anufriev & Cars Hommes & Raoul Philipse, 2013. "Evolutionary selection of expectations in positive and negative feedback markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 663-688, July.
    8. Tim Taylor & Richard Harrison, 2008. "Misperceptions, heterogeneous expectations and macroeconomic dynamics," 2008 Meeting Papers 710, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Marsili, Matteo & Raffaelli, Giacomo & Ponsot, Benedicte, 2009. "Dynamic instability in generic model of multi-assets markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1170-1181, May.

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