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Rational Frenzies and Crashes

  • Bulow, Jeremy I.
  • Klemperer, Paul

Most markets clear through a sequence of sales rather than through a Walrasian auctioneer. Because buyers can decide whether to buy now or later, rather than only now or never, their current `willingness to pay' is much more sensitive to price than is the demand curve. In consequence, markets will be extremely sensitive to new information, leading to frenzies where demand feeds upon itself, and crashes where price drops discontinuously. Although no buyer's independent reservation value reveals much about overall demand, a small increase in one such value can cause a large increase or decrease in average price.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 593.

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Date of creation: Oct 1991
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:593
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  1. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  2. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Gennotte, Gerard & Leland, Hayne, 1990. "Market Liquidity, Hedging, and Crashes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 999-1021, December.
  4. Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
  5. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  6. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  7. Bulow, Jeremy & Roberts, John, 1989. "The Simple Economics of Optimal Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1060-90, October.
  8. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  9. John G. Riley & William Samuelson, 1979. "Optimal Auctions," UCLA Economics Working Papers 152, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "A Theory of Monopoly Pricing Schemes with Demand Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 347-65, June.
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