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The Apparent Madness of Crowds: Irrational collective behavior emerging from interactions among rational agents


  • Sitabhra Sinha


Standard economic theory assumes that agents in markets behave rationally. However, the observation of extremely large fluctuations in the price of financial assets that are not correlated to changes in their fundamental value, as well as the extreme instance of financial bubbles and crashes, imply that markets (at least occasionally) do display irrational behavior. In this paper, we briefly outline our recent work demonstrating that a market with interacting agents having bounded rationality can display price fluctuations that are {\em quantitatively} similar to those seen in real markets.

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  • Sitabhra Sinha, 2006. "The Apparent Madness of Crowds: Irrational collective behavior emerging from interactions among rational agents," Papers physics/0606078,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:physics/0606078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Garber, Peter M, 1990. "Famous First Bubbles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 35-54, Spring.
    2. P. Gopikrishnan & M. Meyer & L.A.N. Amaral & H.E. Stanley, 1998. "Inverse cubic law for the distribution of stock price variations," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 3(2), pages 139-140, July.
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