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Information Cascades and Observational Learning

  • Bikhchandani, Sushil

    (U of California, Los Angeles)

  • Hirshleifer, David

    (Ohio State U)

  • Welch, Ivo

    (Brown U)

An information cascade occurs when it is optimal for an individual, having observed the actions and possibly payoffs of those ahead of him, to take the same action regardless of his own information. When there are informational cascades, society may reap only a modest fraction of the potential gains from aggregating the diverse information of many individuals. As a result, information cascades can help explain some otherwise puzzling aspects of human and animal behavior. For example, why do individuals tend to converge on similar behavior? Why is mass behavior prone to error and fads? We suggest that the theory of observational learning, and particularly of information cascades, has much to offer economics and other social sciences.

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File URL: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/papers/2005/2005-22.pdf
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Paper provided by Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2005-22.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:ohidic:2005-22
Contact details of provider: Phone: (614) 292-8449
Web page: http://www.cob.ohio-state.edu/fin/dice/list.htm
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  2. Peter N. Golder & Gerard J. Tellis, 2004. "Growing, Growing, Gone: Cascades, Diffusion, and Turning Points in the Product Life Cycle," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(2), pages 207-218, December.
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  6. Sheffrin, S.M. & Triest, R.K., 1991. "Can Brute Deterrence Backfire? Perceptions and Attitudes in Taxpayer Compliance," Papers 373, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  7. Vives, X., 1990. "How Fast Do Rational Agents Learn?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 135-90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Smith, L. & Sorensen, P., 1996. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Economics Papers 115, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Choi, J.P., 1994. "Herd behavior, the "Penguin effect", and the suppression of informational diffusion : An analysis of informational externalities and payoff interdependency," Discussion Paper 1994-62, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Russ Wermers, 1999. "Mutual Fund Herding and the Impact on Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 581-622, 04.
  11. Sunil Sharma & Sushil Bikhchandani, 2000. "Herd Behavior in Financial Markets: A Review," IMF Working Papers 00/48, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Jeffrey R. Brown & Zoran Ivkovic & Paul A. Smith & Scott Weisbenner, 2008. "Neighbors Matter: Causal Community Effects and Stock Market Participation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1509-1531, 06.
  13. Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
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  15. Landes, William M, 1978. "An Economic Study of U.S. Aircraft Hijacking, 1961-1976," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-31, April.
  16. 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.
  17. Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, . "Herd Behavior and Contagion in Financial Markets," Working Papers 2010-01, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  18. Welch, Ivo, 1992. " Sequential Sales, Learning, and Cascades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 695-732, June.
  19. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
  20. Henry Cao & David Hirshleifer, 2004. "Taking the Road Less Traveled: Does Conversation Eradicate Pernicious Cascades?," Game Theory and Information 0412001, EconWPA.
  21. 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.
  22. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  23. 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.
  24. Peter Sorensen & Marco Ottaviani, 2000. "Herd Behavior and Investment: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 695-704, June.
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