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Beauty Contests and Irrational Exuberance: A Neoclassical Approach

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  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Alessandro Pavan

Abstract

The arrival of new, unfamiliar, investment opportunities is often associated with "exuberant" movements in asset prices and real economic activity. During these episodes of high uncertainty, financial markets look at the real sector for signals about the profitability of the new investment opportunities, and vice versa. In this paper, we study how such information spillovers impact the incentives that agents face when making their real economic decisions. On the positive front, we find that the sensitivity of equilibrium outcomes to noise and to higher-order uncertainty is amplified, exacerbating the disconnect from fundamentals. On the normative front, we find that these effects are symptoms of constrained inefficiency; we then identify policies that can improve welfare without requiring the government to have any informational advantage vis-a-vis the market. At the heart of these results is a distortion that induces a conventional neoclassical economy to behave as a Keynesian "beauty contest" and to exhibit fluctuations that may look like "irrational exuberance" to an outside observer.
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  • George-Marios Angeletos & Guido Lorenzoni & Alessandro Pavan, 2010. "Beauty Contests and Irrational Exuberance: A Neoclassical Approach," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000237, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:661465000000000237
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nagel, Rosemarie & Bühren, Christoph & Frank, Björn, 2017. "Inspired and inspiring: Hervé Moulin and the discovery of the beauty contest game," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 191-207.
    2. Albagli, Elias & Hellwig, Christian & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Information Aggregation, Investment, and Managerial Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 8539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Kurlat, Pablo & Veldkamp, Laura, 2015. "Should we regulate financial information?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 697-720.
    4. Gaballo, G., 2012. "Private Uncertainty and Multiplicity," Working papers 387, Banque de France.
    5. Kaizoji, Taisei (kaizoji@icu.ac.jp), 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Bubbles and Crashes," MPRA Paper 20352, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. George-Marios Angeletos & Chen Lian, 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics: Accommodating Frictions in Coordination," NBER Working Papers 22297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2010. "Predictability of Asset Returns and the Efficient Market Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 5037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Camille Cornand & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira, 2015. "Playing the game the others want to play: Keynes’ beauty contest revisited," Working Papers of BETA 2015-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. Benhabib, Jess & Wang, Pengfei, 2015. "Private information and sunspots in sequential asset markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 558-584.
    10. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2013. "Trading frenzies and their impact on real investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 566-582.
    11. Boleslavsky, Raphael & Kelly, David L. & Taylor, Curtis R., 2017. "Selloffs, bailouts, and feedback: Can asset markets inform policy?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 294-343.
    12. Marcus Giamattei & Johann Lambsdorff, 2015. "Balancing the current account: experimental evidence on underconsumption," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 670-696, December.
    13. Benhabib, Jess & Liu, Xuewen & Wang, Pengfei, 2016. "Sentiments, financial markets, and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 420-443.
    14. Laura Veldkamp & Pablo Kurlat, 2011. "De-regulating Markets for Financial Information," 2011 Meeting Papers 1269, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Camille Cornand & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira, 2015. "Cooperation in a differentiated duopoly when information is dispersed: A beauty contest game with endogenous concern for coordination," Working Papers halshs-01116156, HAL.
    16. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2014. "Solving DSGE portfolio choice models with dispersed private information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    17. Tinn, K & Vourvachaki, E, 2012. "Can overpricing of technology stocks be good for welfare? Positive spillovers vs. equity market losses," Working Papers 12192, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    18. Benhabib, Jess & Liu, Xuewen & Wang, Pengfei, 2016. "Endogenous information acquisition and countercyclical uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 601-642.
    19. G. Gaballo, 2017. "Price Dispersion, Private Uncertainty, and Endogenous Nominal Rigidities," Working papers 653, Banque de France.
    20. Chemla, Gilles & Tinn, Katrin, 2016. "Learning through Crowdfunding," CEPR Discussion Papers 11363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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