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The effects of subject pool and design experience on rationality in experimental asset markets

  • Lucy F. Ackert
  • Bryan K. Church

Empirical evidence suggests that prices do not always reflect fundamental values and individual behavior is often inconsistent with rational expectations theory. We report the results of fourteen experimental markets designed to examine whether the interactive effect of subject pool and design experience tempers price bubbles and improves forecasting ability. Our main findings are: (i) price run-ups are modest and dissipate quickly when traders are knowledgeable about financial markets and have design experience; (ii) price bubbles moderate quickly when only a subset of traders are knowledgeable and experienced; and (iii) individual forecasts of price are not consistent with the predictions of the rational expectations model in any market.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 98-18.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:98-18
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  1. 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.
  2. Cecilia Chaing & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
  3. John Haltiwanger & Michael Waldman, 1983. "Rational Expectations and the Limits of Rationality: An Analysis of Heterogeneity," UCLA Economics Working Papers 303, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Foster, F Douglas & Viswanathan, S, 1996. " Strategic Trading When Agents Forecast the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1437-78, September.
  6. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
  7. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  9. Ahmed, Ehsan & Koppl, Roger & Rosser, J. Jr. & White, Mark V., 1997. "Complex bubble persistence in closed-end country funds," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 19-37, January.
  10. Godfrey, Leslie G., 1978. "Testing for multiplicative heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 227-236, October.
  11. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel, 1996. "Price formation in double auction markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1307-1337, August.
  12. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  13. Peterson, Steven P., 1993. "Forecasting dynamics and convergence to market fundamentals : Evidence from experimental asset markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 269-284, December.
  14. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-35, September.
  15. Camerer, Colin, 1992. "The rationality of prices and volume in experimental markets," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 237-272, March.
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