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Asset prices and informed traders' abilities: evidence from experimental asset markets

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  • Lucy F. Ackert
  • Bryan K. Church
  • Ping Zhang

Abstract

This study reports the results of fifteen experimental asset markets designed to investigate the effects of forecasts on market prices, traders' abilities to assess asset value, and the link between the two. Across the fifteen markets, the authors investigate alternative forecast-generating processes. In some markets the process produces an unbiased estimate of asset value and in others a biased estimate. The processes generating the biased forecasts, though, are less variable than the process generating the unbiased forecast. The authors find that, in general, period-end asset price reflects private forecasts, regardless of the forecast-generating process. Subsequently, they investigate whether traders' abilities to use forecasts differ across the forecast-generating processes. The authors find that most are able to properly use unbiased forecasts. They refer to them as smart traders. By comparison, a significant proportion is unable to properly use biased forecasts (typically traders' adjustments for bias are insufficient). Linking market outcomes and traders' abilities, the authors find that asset price appears to properly reflect unbiased forecasts as long as the market includes at least two smart informed traders who have sufficient ability to influence market outcomes. To obtain a comparable result in markets with the biased forecast, at least three smart informed traders with sufficient ability to influence market outcomes are necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucy F. Ackert & Bryan K. Church & Ping Zhang, 2002. "Asset prices and informed traders' abilities: evidence from experimental asset markets," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2002-26
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    Cited by:

    1. Ackert, Lucy F. & Church, Bryan K. & Zhang, Ping, 2018. "Informed traders’ performance and the information environment: Evidence from experimental asset markets," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Nuzzo, Simone & Morone, Andrea, 2017. "Asset markets in the lab: A literature review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 42-50.
    3. Ackert, Lucy F. & Church, Bryan K. & Zhang, Ping, 2008. "What affects the market's ability to adjust for optimistic forecast bias? Evidence from experimental asset markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 358-372, May.
    4. Morone, Andrea & Nuzzo, Simone, 2015. "Market Efficiency, Trading Institutions and Information Mirages: evidence from an experimental asset market," MPRA Paper 67448, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Guojin Gong & Hong Qu & Ian Tarrant, 2021. "Earnings Forecasts and Price Efficiency after Earnings Realizations: Reduction in Information Asymmetry through Learning from Price," Contemporary Accounting Research, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(1), pages 654-675, March.
    6. Pantic, B., 2016. "Comparability of financial reports: A literature review of most recent studies," Working Papers 6451, Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg State University.

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    Forecasting; Markets; Financial markets; Risk;
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