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Beauty Contests and Irrational Exuberance: A Neoclassical Approach

Listed author(s):
  • George-Marios Angeletos
  • Guido Lorenzoni
  • Alessandro Pavan

The arrival of new, unfamiliar, investment opportunities is often associated with "exuberant" movements in asset prices and real economic activity. During these episodes of high uncertainty, financial markets look at the real sector for signals about the profitability of the new investment opportunities, and vice versa. In this paper, we study how such information spillovers impact the incentives that agents face when making their real economic decisions. On the positive front, we find that the sensitivity of equilibrium outcomes to noise and to higher-order uncertainty is amplified, exacerbating the disconnect from fundamentals. On the normative front, we find that these effects are symptoms of constrained inefficiency; we then investigate policies that can improve welfare in our model without any informational advantage on the government's part. At the heart of these results is a distortion that induces a conventional neoclassical economy to behave as a Keynesian "beauty contest" and to exhibit fluctuations that may look like "irrational exuberance" to an outside observer.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15883.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15883.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15883
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  1. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2009. "Policy with Dispersed Information," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(1), pages 11-60, 03.
  2. Simon Gilchrist & Charles P. Himmelberg & Gur Huberman, 2004. "Do Stock Price Bubbles Influence Corporate Investment?," NBER Working Papers 10537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Laura Veldkamp, 2003. "Media Frenzies in Markets for Financial Information," Working Papers 03-20, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2013. "Trading frenzies and their impact on real investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 566-582.
  5. Giovanni Cespa & Xavier Vives, 2012. "Dynamic Trading and Asset Prices: Keynes vs. Hayek," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 539-580.
  6. Dow, James & Gorton, Gary, 1997. " Stock Market Efficiency and Economic Efficiency: Is There a Connection?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1087-1129, July.
  7. Manuel Amador & Pierre Olivier Weill, 2008. "Learning from Prices: Public Communication and Welfare," 2008 Meeting Papers 390, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Franck Portier & Aude Pommeret & Olivier Loisel, 2008. "Monetary policy and herd behavior in new-tech investment," 2008 Meeting Papers 444, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. George-Marios Angeletos & Guido Lorenzoni & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Wall Street and Silicon Valley: A Delicate Interaction," NBER Working Papers 13475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  11. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2009. "Endogenous Information Acquisition in Coordination Games," Economics Series Working Papers 445, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  12. George-Marios Angeletos & Jennifer La'O, 2009. "Noisy Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 14982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • George-Marios Angeletos & Jennifer La'O, 2010. "Noisy Business Cycles," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 319-378 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hellwig, Christian & Veldkamp, Laura, 2007. "Knowing What Others Know: Coordination Motives in Information Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 6506, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Vives, X., 1993. "Learning from Others," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 206.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  15. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
  16. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel, 2008. "Manipulation and the Allocational Role of Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 133-164.
  17. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2006. "Learning from Private and Public Observation of Other's Actions," MPRA Paper 109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Jennifer La'O, 2010. "Collateral Constraints and Noisy Fluctuations," 2010 Meeting Papers 780, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Christian Hellwig, "undated". "Monetary Business Cycle Models: Imperfect Information (Review Article, March 2006)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 377, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Xavier Vives, 2007. "Information and Learning in Markets," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001520, UCLA Department of Economics.
  21. Ricardo Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Mohamad L. Hammour, 2004. "Speculative Growth: Hints from the US Economy," NBER Working Papers 10518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Dupor, Bill, 2005. "Stabilizing non-fundamental asset price movements under discretion and limited information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 727-747, May.
  23. George-Marios Angeletos & Alessandro Pavan, 2007. "Efficient Use of Information and Social Value of Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1103-1142, 07.
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