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Speculative bubbles and financial crisis

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  • Pengfei Wang
  • Yi Wen

Abstract

Why are asset prices so much more volatile and so often detached from their fundamentals? Why does the burst of financial bubbles depress the real economy? This paper addresses these questions by constructing an infinite-horizon heterogeneous-agent general-equilibrium model with speculative bubbles. We show that agents are willing to invest in asset bubbles even though they have positive probability to burst. We prove that any storable goods, regardless of their intrinsic values, may give birth to bubbles with market prices far exceeding their fundamental values. We also show that perceived changes in the bubbles probability to bust can generate boom-bust cycles and produce asset price movements that are many times more volatile than the economy's fundamentals, as in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Pengfei Wang & Yi Wen, 2009. "Speculative bubbles and financial crisis," Working Papers 2009-029, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2009-029
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Emmanuel Farhi & Jean Tirole, 2008. "Competing Liquidities: Corporate Securities, Real Bonds and Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 13955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1992. "Bubbles and constraints on debt accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 245-256.
    3. John Kareken & Neil Wallace, 1981. "On the Indeterminacy of Equilibrium Exchange Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 207-222.
    4. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
    5. Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Asset Bubbles and Overlapping Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1499-1528, November.
    6. Patrick-Antoine Pintus & Yi Weng, 2009. "Leveraged financing, over investment, and boom-bust cycles," Working Papers halshs-00439245, HAL.
    7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1980. "Equilibrium in a Pure Currency Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(2), pages 203-220, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial crises; Speculation; Asset pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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