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Price Impact and Survival of Irrational Traders

  • Leonid Kogan

    (Sloan School of Management, MIT and NBER)

  • Stephan Ross

    (Sloan School of Management, MIT and NBER)

  • Jiang Wang

    (Sloan School of Management, MIT and NBER)

  • Mark Westerfield

    (Economics Department, MIT)

Milton Friedman argued that irrational traders will consistently lose money, won’t survive and, therefore, cannot influence long run equilibrium asset prices. Since his work, survival and price impact have been assumed to be the same. In this paper, we demonstrate that survival and price impact are two independent concepts. The price impact of irrational traders does not rely on their long-run survival and they can have a significant impact on asset prices even when their wealth becomes negligible. We also show that irrational traders ’portfolio policies can deviate from their limits long after the price process approaches its long-run limit. We show, in contrast to a partial equilibrium analysis, these general equilibrium considerations matter for the irrational traders long-run survival. In sum, we explicitly show that price impact can persist whether or not the irrational traders survive.

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Paper provided by International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering in its series FAME Research Paper Series with number rp116.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fam:rpseri:rp116
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  1. Jiang, Wang, 1996. "The term structure of interest rates in a pure exchange economy with heterogeneous investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 75-110, May.
  2. Leonid Kogan & Stephen Ross & Jiang Wang & Mark Westerfield, 2003. "The Price Impact and Survival of Irrational Traders," NBER Working Papers 9434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hakansson, Nils H., 1971. "Capital Growth and the Mean-Variance Approach to Portfolio Selection," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 517-557, January.
  4. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1991. "The Survival of Noise Traders in Financial Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(1), pages 1-19, January.
  5. Harrison, J. Michael & Kreps, David M., 1979. "Martingales and arbitrage in multiperiod securities markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 381-408, June.
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  7. Terrance Odean, 1998. "Are Investors Reluctant to Realize Their Losses?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1775-1798, October.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  9. Susan Athey, 2002. "Monotone Comparative Statics Under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 187-223, February.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Asset Prices in an Exchange Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1429-45, November.
  11. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  12. Radner, Roy, 1972. "Existence of Equilibrium of Plans, Prices, and Price Expectations in a Sequence of Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 289-303, March.
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