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Transaction costs and informational cascades in financial markets: Theory and experimental evidence

  • Cipriani, Marco
  • Guarino, Antonio

We study the effect of transaction costs (e.g., a trading fee or a transaction tax, like the Tobin tax)on the aggregation of private information in financial markets. We analyze a financial market à la Glosten and Milgrom, in which informed and uninformed traders trade in sequence with a market maker. Traders have to pay a cost in order to trade. We show that, eventually, all informed traders decide not to trade, independently of their private information, i.e., an informational cascade occurs. We replicated our financial market in the laboratory. We found that, in the experiment, informational cascades occur when the theory suggests they should. Nevertheless, the ability of the price to aggregate private information is not significantly affected. JEL Classification: C92, D8, G14

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0736.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070736
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  1. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2001. "Herd Behavior and Cascading in Capital Markets: A Review and Synthesis," MPRA Paper 5186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ian Domowitz & Jack Glen & Ananth Madhavan, 2000. "Liquidity, Volatility, and Equity Trading Costs Across Countries and Over Time," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 322, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
  4. Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, 2005. "Herd Behavior in a Laboratory Financial Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1427-1443, December.
  5. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-48, September.
  6. Lawrence R. Glosten & Paul R. Milgrom, 1983. "Bid, Ask and Transaction Prices in a Specialist Market with Heterogeneously Informed Traders," Discussion Papers 570, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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