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Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets

  • De Long, J. Bradford
  • Shleifer, Andrei
  • Summers, Lawrence H.
  • Waldmann, Robert J.

We present a simple overlapping generations model of an asset market in which irrational noise traders with erroneous stochastic beliefs both affect prices and earn higher expected returns. The unpredictability of noise traders' beliefs creates a risk in the price of the asset that deters rational arbitrageurs from aggressively betting against them. As a result, prices can diverge significantly from fundamental values even in the absence of fundamental risk. Moreover, bearing a disproportionate amount of risk that they themselves create enables noise traders to earn a higher expected return than rational investors do. The model sheds light on a number of financial anomalies, including the excess volatility of asset prices, the mean reversion of stock returns, the underpricing of closed-end mutual funds, and the Mehra-Prescott equity premium puzzle.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3725552.

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Date of creation: 1990
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy -Chicago-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3725552
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  1. Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. " Does the Stock Market Rationally Reflect Fundamental Values?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 591-601, July.
  2. Russell, Thomas & Thaler, Richard, 1985. "The Relevance of Quasi Rationality in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1071-82, December.
  3. N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Do Long-Term Interest Rates Overreact to Short-Term Interest Rates?," NBER Working Papers 1345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, . "The Size and Incidence of Losses from Noise Trading," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _128, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  5. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1988. "Dividend yields and expected stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-25, October.
  6. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1989. "The Size and Incidence of the Losses from Noise Trading," NBER Working Papers 2875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hart, Oliver D & Kreps, David M, 1986. "Price Destabilizing Speculation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 927-52, October.
  8. Stein, Jeremy C, 1987. "Informational Externalities and Welfare-Reducing Speculation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1123-45, December.
  9. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 2343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  11. Bray, Margaret, 1982. "Learning, estimation, and the stability of rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 318-339, April.
  12. Sanford J Grossman & Joseph E Stiglitz, 1997. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1908, David K. Levine.
  13. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. " Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-95, June.
  14. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Townsend, Robert M, 1983. "Forecasting the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 546-88, August.
  16. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1986. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(1), pages 61-110.
  17. J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1988. "The Survival of Noise Traders in Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 2715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kyle, Albert & Campbell, John, 1993. "Smart Money, Noise Trading and Stock Price Behaviour," Scholarly Articles 3208217, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 15(2), pages 457-510.
  20. Ingram, Beth Fisher, 1990. "Equilibrium Modeling of Asset Prices: Rationality versus Rules of Thumb," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(1), pages 115-25, January.
  21. Brickley, James A. & Schallheim, James S., 1985. "Lifting the Lid on Closed-End Investment Companies: A Case of Abnormal Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 107-117, March.
  22. Figlewski, Stephen, 1979. "Subjective Information and Market Efficiency in a Betting Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 75-88, February.
  23. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1990. "Equilibrium Short Horizons of Investors and Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 148-53, May.
  24. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Scholarly Articles 3725552, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  26. Roll, Richard, 1984. "Orange Juice and Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 861-80, December.
  27. Haltiwanger, John C & Waldman, Michael, 1989. "Rational Expectations in the Aggregate," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 619-36, October.
  28. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  29. Denton, Frank T, 1985. "The Effect of Professional Advice on the Stability of a Speculative Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 977-93, October.
  30. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  31. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  32. Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Stock Prices and Social Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 719R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  33. Paul Milgrom & Nancy L.Stokey, 1979. "Information, Trade, and Common Knowledge," Discussion Papers 377R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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