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Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets

  • Rama Cont

    (CEA Saclay and Science & Finance Research Group)

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

    (CEA Saclay and Science & Finance Research Group)

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    We present a simple model of a stock market where a random communication structure between agents gives rise to a heavy tails in the distribution of stock price variations in the form of an exponentially truncated power-law, similar to distributions observed in recent empirical studies of high frequency market data. Our model provides a link between two well-known market phenomena: the heavy tails observed in the distribution of stock market returns on one hand and 'herding' behavior in financial markets on the other hand. In particular, our study suggests a relation between the excess kurtosis observed in asset returns, the market order flow and the tendency of market participants to imitate each other.

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    Paper provided by in its series Papers with number cond-mat/9712318.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1997
    Date of revision: Jan 1998
    Publication status: Published in Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2000, Volume 4, No 2, 170-196
    Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:cond-mat/9712318
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    3. Topol, Richard, 1991. "Bubbles and Volatility of Stock Prices: Effect of Mimetic Contagion," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 786-800, July.
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    8. Muller, Ulrich A. & Dacorogna, Michel M. & Olsen, Richard B. & Pictet, Olivier V. & Schwarz, Matthias & Morgenegg, Claude, 1990. "Statistical study of foreign exchange rates, empirical evidence of a price change scaling law, and intraday analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 1189-1208, December.
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    11. Levy, Moshe & Solomon, Sorin, 1997. "New evidence for the power-law distribution of wealth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 90-94.
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    14. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    15. Bak, Per & Chen, Kan & Scheinkman, Jose & Woodford, Michael, 1993. "Aggregate fluctuations from independent sectoral shocks: self-organized criticality in a model of production and inventory dynamics," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-30, March.
    16. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
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    19. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
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