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On risk, rational expectations, and efficient asset markets

Author

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  • Guy V. G. Stevens
  • Dara Akbarian

Abstract

The notion of asset market efficiency -- that market prices "fully reflect" all available information -- requires the operation of mechanisms that rapidly incorporate new information into asset prices. Particularly problematic -- both theoretically and empirically -- has been the case where new information is not widely shared, so-called "strong-form" efficiency. This paper examines the relevance of a mechanism for attaining strong-form efficiency based on knowledgeable investors being willing to take large positions in order to eliminate unexploited profit opportunities. We examine theoretically and empirically, the latter using daily stock market data, the impact of a number of factors on the efficacy of this mechanism: the portfolio size and degree of risk aversion of potential investors, the ability to borrow, and the hedging opportunities provided by the stock market.

Suggested Citation

  • Guy V. G. Stevens & Dara Akbarian, 1994. "On risk, rational expectations, and efficient asset markets," International Finance Discussion Papers 478, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:478
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cyert, Richard M & DeGroot, Morris H, 1974. "Rational Expectations and Bayesian Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 521-536, May/June.
    2. Anderson, Ronald W & Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1981. "Cross Hedging," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1182-1196, December.
    3. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    4. Baesel, Jerome B. & Stein, Garry R., 1979. "The Value of Information: Inferences from the Profitability of Insider Trading," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(03), pages 553-571, September.
    5. Stephen J. DeCanio, 1979. "Rational Expectations and Learning from Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(1), pages 47-57.
    6. Abel, Andrew B. & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1983. "An integrated view of tests of rationality, market efficiency and the short-run neutrality of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 3-24.
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