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Predicting economic market crises using measures of collective panic


  • Dion Harmon
  • Marcus A. M. de Aguiar
  • David D. Chinellato
  • Dan Braha
  • Irving R. Epstein
  • Yaneer Bar-Yam


Predicting panic is of critical importance in many areas of human and animal behavior, notably in the context of economics. The recent financial crisis is a case in point. Panic may be due to a specific external threat, or self-generated nervousness. Here we show that the recent economic crisis and earlier large single-day panics were preceded by extended periods of high levels of market mimicry --- direct evidence of uncertainty and nervousness, and of the comparatively weak influence of external news. High levels of mimicry can be a quite general indicator of the potential for self-organized crises.

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  • Dion Harmon & Marcus A. M. de Aguiar & David D. Chinellato & Dan Braha & Irving R. Epstein & Yaneer Bar-Yam, 2011. "Predicting economic market crises using measures of collective panic," Papers 1102.2620,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1102.2620

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenett, Dror Y. & Raddant, Matthias & Lux, Thomas & Ben-Jacob, Eshel, 2011. "Evolvement of uniformity and volatility in the stressed global financial village," Kiel Working Papers 1739, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Dhaene, Jan & Linders, Daniël & Schoutens, Wim & Vyncke, David, 2012. "The Herd Behavior Index: A new measure for the implied degree of co-movement in stock markets," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 357-370.
    3. repec:wsi:ijfexx:v:02:y:2015:i:02:n:s2424786315500127 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniël Linders & Jan Dhaene & Wim Schoutens, 2015. "Option prices and model-free measurement of implied herd behavior in stock markets," International Journal of Financial Engineering (IJFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(02), pages 1-35.
    5. Matija Piv{s}korec & Nino Antulov-Fantulin & Petra Kralj Novak & Igor Mozetiv{c} & Miha Grv{c}ar & Irena Vodenska & Tomislav v{S}muc, 2014. "News Cohesiveness: an Indicator of Systemic Risk in Financial Markets," Papers 1402.3483,
    6. Benoît Desmarchelier & Eddy S. Fang, 2016. "Social Media and the Diffusion of Information: A Computational Experiment on the Emergence of Food Scares," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 559-583, November.
    7. Eder Lucio Fonseca & Fernando F. Ferreira & Paulsamy Muruganandam & Hilda A. Cerdeira, 2012. "Identifying financial crises in real time," Papers 1204.3136,, revised Nov 2012.

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