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Private Sunspots and Idiosyncratic Investor Sentiment

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  • George-Marios Angeletos

Abstract

This paper shows how rational investors can have different degrees of optimism regarding the prospects of the economy, even if they share exactly the same information regarding all economic fundamentals. The key is that heterogeneity in expectations regarding endogenous outcomes can emerge as a purely self-fulfilling equilibrium property when investment choices are strategic complements. This in turn has interesting novel positive and normative implications for a wide class of models that feature such complementarities: (i) It can rationalize idiosyncratic investor sentiment. (ii) It can be the source of significant heterogeneity in real and financial investment choices, even in the absence of any heterogeneity in individual characteristics and despite the presence of a strong incentive to coordinate on the same course of action. (iii) It can sustain rich fluctuations in aggregate investment and asset prices, including fluctuations that are smoother than those often associated with multiple-equilibria models. (iv) It can capture the idea that investors learn slowly how to coordinate on a certain course of action. (v) It can boost welfare. (vi) It can render apparent coordination failures evidence of improved efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • George-Marios Angeletos, 2008. "Private Sunspots and Idiosyncratic Investor Sentiment," NBER Working Papers 14015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14015
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    Cited by:

    1. Dietmar Fehr & Frank Heinemann & Aniol Llorente-Saguer, 2011. "The Power of Sunspots: An Experimental Analysis," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2011_33, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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