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Ambiguity in Financial Markets: Herding and Contrarian Behaviour

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  • J L Ford, David Kelsey and W Pang

Abstract

The paper studies the impact of ambiguity on history-dependant beahviour in the standard microstructure model of financial markets. We show that differences in ambiguity attitudes between market makers and traders can generate contrarian and herding behaviour in stock markets where assets are traded sequentially and trading prices are endogenously determined. We also show the mispricing can be only short-term, and in the long-run market is efficient in the sense that the market price aggregates information without distortions.

Suggested Citation

  • J L Ford, David Kelsey and W Pang, 2005. "Ambiguity in Financial Markets: Herding and Contrarian Behaviour," Discussion Papers 05-11, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:05-11
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/herd-finalmay05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tallon, Jean-Marc, 1998. "Asymmetric Information, Nonadditive Expected Utility, and the Information Revealed by Prices: An Example," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 329-342, May.
    2. Wakker, Peter P, 2001. "Testing and Characterizing Properties of Nonadditive Measures through Violations of the Sure-Thing Principle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1039-1059, July.
    3. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 1996. "Uncertainty Aversion and Dynamic Consistency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 625-640, August.
    4. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-1272, November.
    5. Vives, Xavier, 1996. "Social learning and rational expectations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 589-601, April.
    6. Jean-Paul Decamps & Stefano Lovo, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," Working Papers hal-00593657, HAL.
    7. Chari, V. V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2004. "Financial crises as herds: overturning the critiques," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 128-150, November.
    8. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
    9. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-748, September.
    10. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    11. Kelsey, David, 1995. "Dutch Books Arguments and Learning in a Nonexpected Utility Framework," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 187-206, February.
    12. David Hirshleifer & Siew Hong Teoh, 2003. "Herd Behaviour and Cascading in Capital Markets: a Review and Synthesis," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(1), pages 25-66.
    13. Michael Kilka & Martin Weber, 2001. "What Determines the Shape of the Probability Weighting Function Under Uncertainty?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(12), pages 1712-1726, December.
    14. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eduardo Corso, 2015. "Ambiguity and portfolio decisions," BCRA Working Paper Series 201567, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    2. Craig Webb, 2015. "Piecewise additivity for non-expected utility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 60(2), pages 371-392, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ambiguity; Choquet Expected Utility; Generalized Bayesian update; Optimism; Herding; Contrarian behaviour;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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