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The origins of bubbles in laboratory asset markets

  • Lucy F. Ackert
  • Narat Charupat
  • Richard Deaves
  • Brian D. Kluger

In twelve sessions conducted in a typical bubble-generating experimental environment, we design a pair of assets that can detect both irrationality and speculative behavior. The specific form of irrationality we investigate is probability judgment error associated with low-probability, high-payoff outcomes. Independently, we test for speculation by comparing prices of identically paying assets in multiperiod versus single-period markets. When these tests indicate the presence of probability judgment error and speculation, bubbles are more likely to occur. This finding suggests that both factors are important bubble drivers.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. with number 2006-06.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-06
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  1. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  2. Van Boening, Mark V. & Williams, Arlington W. & LaMaster, Shawn, 1993. "Price bubbles and crashes in experimental call markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 179-185.
  3. Williams, Arlington W., 2008. "Price Bubbles in Large Financial Asset Markets," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  4. Caginalp, Gunduz & Porter, David & Smith, Vernon, 2000. "Momentum and overreaction in experimental asset markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 187-204, January.
  5. Lucy Ackert & Narat Charupat & Bryan Church & Richard Deaves, 2006. "An experimental examination of the house money effect in a multi-period setting," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-16, April.
  6. Brian D. Kluger & Steve B. Wyatt, 2004. "Are Judgment Errors Reflected in Market Prices and Allocations? Experimental Evidence Based on the Monty Hall Problem," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(3), pages 969-998, 06.
  7. Lei, V. & Noussair, C. & Plott, C.R., 1998. "Non-Speculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality Vs. Actual Irrationality," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1120, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  8. Vivian Lei & Filip Vesely, 2009. "Market Efficiency: Evidence From A No-Bubble Asset Market Experiment," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 246-258, 05.
  9. Lucy F. Ackert & Bryan K. Church, 1998. "The effects of subject pool and design experience on rationality in experimental asset markets," Working Paper 98-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Gneezy, U. & Kapteyn, A. & Potters, J.J.M., 2002. "Evaluation Periods and Asset Prices in a Market Experiment," Discussion Paper 2002-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-51, September.
  12. Ernan Haruvy & Charles N. Noussair, 2006. "The Effect of Short Selling on Bubbles and Crashes in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1119-1157, 06.
  13. Lucy F. Ackert & Narat Charupat & Bryan K. Church & Richard Deaves, 2006. "Margin, Short Selling, And Lotteries In Experimental Asset Markets," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 419–436, October.
  14. Porter, David P & Smith, Vernon L, 1995. "Futures Contracting and Dividend Uncertainty in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(4), pages 509-41, October.
  15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
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