Recreating the South Sea Bubble: Lessons from an Experiment in Financial History
Major bubble episodes are rare events. In this paper, we examine what factors might cause some asset price bubbles to become very large. We recreate, in a laboratory setting, some of the specific institutional features investors in the South Sea Company faced in 1720. Several factors have been proposed as potentially contributing to one of the greatest periods of asset overvaluation in history: an intricate debt-for-equity swap, deferred payment for these shares, and the possibility of default on the deferred payments. We consider which aspect might have had the most impact in creating the South Sea bubble. The results of the experiment suggest that the company's attempt to exchange its shares for government debt was the single biggest contributor to the stock price explosion, because of the manner in which the swap affected fundamental value. Issuing new shares with only partial payments required, in conjunction with the debt equity swap, also had a significant effect on the size of the bubble. Limited contract enforcement, on the other hand, does not appear to have contributed significantly.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2013|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona|
Phone: +34 93 542-1222
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page: http://www.barcelonagse.eu
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kujal, Praveen & Porter, David & Hernán, Roberto & Corgnet, Brice, 2013.
"The effect of earned vs. house money on price bubble formation in experimental asset markets,"
UC3M Working papers. Economics
we1304, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
- Brice Corgnet & Roberto Hernán González & Praveen Kujal & David Porter, 2013. "The Effect of Earned vs. House Money on Price Bubble Formation in Experimental Asset Markets," Working Papers 13-04, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
- Shleifer, Andrei, 1986. " Do Demand Curves for Stocks Slope Down?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 579-590, July.
- Ernan Haruvy & Charles N. Noussair & Owen Powell, 2014.
"The Impact of Asset Repurchases and Issues in an Experimental Market,"
Review of Finance,
European Finance Association, vol. 18(2), pages 681-713.
- Haruvy, E. & Noussair, C.N. & Powell, O.R., 2012. "The Impact of Asset Repurchases and Issues in an Experimental Market," Discussion Paper 2012-092, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan, 1985. "Stock price effects and costs of secondary distributions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 165-194, June.
- Greenwood, Robin & Nagel, Stefan, 2009.
"Inexperienced investors and bubbles,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 239-258, August.
- Stefan Palan, 2013. "A Review Of Bubbles And Crashes In Experimental Asset Markets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 570-588, 07.
- Peter M. Garber, 2001. "Famous First Bubbles: The Fundamentals of Early Manias," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262571536, December.
- Harris, Ron, 1994. "The Bubble Act: Its Passage and Its Effects on Business Organization," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 610-627, September.
- De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990.
" Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-395, June.
- De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Scholarly Articles 27693805, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1989. "Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," NBER Working Papers 2880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alsemgeest, P. & Noussair, C. & Olson, M., 1995.
"Experimental Comparisons of Auctions Under Single and Multi Unit Demand,"
Purdue University Economics Working Papers
1078, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Alsemgeest, Paul & Noussair, Charles & Olson, Mark, 1998. "Experimental Comparisons of Auctions under Single- and Multi-Unit Demand," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 87-97, January.
- Aditya Kaul & Vikas Mehrotra & Randall Morck, 2000.
"Demand Curves for Stocks "Do "Slope Down: New Evidence from an Index Weights Adjustment,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 893-912, 04.
- Aditya Kaul & Vikas Mehrotra & Randall Morck, 1999. "Demand Curves for Stocks Do Slope Down: New Evidence From An Index Weights Adjustment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1884, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Ernan Haruvy & Charles N. Noussair, 2006. "The Effect of Short Selling on Bubbles and Crashes in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1119-1157, 06.
- Lintner, John, 1971. "The Effect of Short Selling and Margin Requirements in Perfect Capital Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(05), pages 1173-1195, December.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- Gary S. Shea, 2007. "Financial market analysis can go mad (in the search for irrational behaviour during the South Sea Bubble) -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(4), pages 742-765, November.
- Lynch, Anthony W & Mendenhall, Richard R, 1997. "New Evidence on Stock Price Effects Associated with Changes in the S&P 500 Index," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(3), pages 351-383, July.
- Richard S. Dale & Johnnie E. V. Johnson & Leilei Tang, 2005. "Financial markets can go mad: evidence of irrational behaviour during the South Sea Bubble -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 58(2), pages 233-271, 05.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:710. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.