Information Flow, Social Interactions and the Fluctuations of Prices in Financial Markets
We model how excess demand or excess supply can be generated in the presence of a social network of interactions, where agents are subject to external information and individual incentives. In this context we study price fluctuations in financial markets under equilibrium. In particular, we isolate the role of these different factors in the determination of price fluctuations and describe non trivial sensitivities to changes in equilibrium due to the existence of social interactions. We characterize equilibrium and distinguish between stable and unstable equilibrium. Crashes or bubbles are seen as out-of-equilibrium situations, preceeded by unstable equilibrium. Fluctuations under unstable equilibrium are shown to be abnormal and particulary large. Also, we show how fluctuations of the external information flows affect the fluctuations of the return process. In all cases we explain the well-known phenomena that prices do not fluctuate upwards in the same way as they fluctuate downwards. This asymmetry of price fluctuations is due to asymmetries in the price elasticity of demand and supply curves at the level defining equilibrium
|Date of creation:||11 Aug 2004|
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