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The Social Cost of Near-Rational Investment

  • Tarek A. Hassan
  • Thomas M. Mertens

We show that the stock market may fail to aggregate information even if it appears to be efficient and that the resulting decrease in the information content of stock prices may drastically reduce welfare. We solve a macroeconomic model in which information about fundamentals is dispersed and households make small, correlated errors when forming expectations about future productivity. As information aggregates in the market, these errors amplify and crowd out the information content of stock prices. When stock prices reflect less information, the conditional variance of stock returns rises. This increase in financial risk distorts the long-run level of capital accumulation, and causes costly (first-order) distortions in the long-run level of consumption.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17027.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17027.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17027
Note: AP EFG
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  16. 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.
  17. Amador, Manuel & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2012. "Learning from private and public observations of othersʼ actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(3), pages 910-940.
  18. Randall Morck & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Stock Market and Investment: Is the Market a Sideshow?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 157-216.
  19. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
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