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Behavioural Finance and Aggregate Market Behaviour: Where do we Stand?

  • Livio Stracca

    ()

This paper selectively reviews the literature on behavioural finance, focusing on the aggregate market implications of the behavioural biases that this literature has identified. Advocates of behavioural economics and finance argue that economic agents behave in a way which departs significantly and systematically from the axioms of expected utility theory. The paper surveys the main “anomalies” identified by this literature in the light of their possible implications on aggregate market behaviour. In particular, the anomalies are categorised into (i) those derived from cognitive limitations (bounded rationality), (ii) those determined by the interference of agents’ emotional state, (iii) those determined by choice bracketing, and (iv) those which suggest that a pre-determined set of preferences does not exist altogether. Moreover, prospect theory is surveyed in particular detail, as it has become a serious challenger to expected utility in economics and finance due to the empirical support, its mathematical tractability and its being consistent with rational expectations. Finally, the paper claims that while convincing evidence against market rationality in the beatthe- market sense is yet to be provided, many indications are now available that financial markets may indeed be “irrational” in other reasonable and relevant meanings.

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File URL: http://www.le.ac.uk/economics/research/RePEc/lec/leecon/econ02-10.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 02/10.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:02/10
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  1. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Later: Procrastination with Time-Consistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-19, Resources For the Future.
  2. Loomes, Graham & Segal, Uzi, 1994. "Observing Different Orders of Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 239-56, December.
  3. al-Nowaihi, Ali & Stracca, Livio, 2002. "Non-standard central bank loss functions, skewed risks, and certainty equivalence," Working Paper Series 0129, European Central Bank.
  4. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
  5. Bowman, David & Minehart, Deborah & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Loss aversion in a consumption-savings model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 155-178, February.
  6. Mark Mitchell & Todd Pulvino & Erik Stafford, 2002. "Limited Arbitrage in Equity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 551-584, 04.
  7. Lattimore, Pamela K. & Baker, Joanna R. & Witte, Ann D., 1992. "The influence of probability on risky choice: A parametric examination," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 377-400, May.
  8. Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David, 1992. "Evolution and market behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 9-40, October.
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