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Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets

Author

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  • Rama Cont

    (CEA Saclay and Science & Finance Research Group)

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

    (CEA Saclay and Science & Finance Research Group)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rama Cont & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1997. "Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets," Papers cond-mat/9712318, arXiv.org, revised Jan 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:cond-mat/9712318
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. 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.
    5. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-479, June.
    6. Pagan, Adrian, 1996. "The econometrics of financial markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 15-102, May.
    7. Rama Cont & Marc Potters & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1997. "Scaling in stock market data: stable laws and beyond," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 9705087, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    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. Kirman, Alan P., 1983. "Communication in markets : A suggested approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 101-108.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Vany, Arthur & Lee, Cassey, 2001. "Quality signals in information cascades and the dynamics of the distribution of motion picture box office revenues," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 593-614, March.

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