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The Real Effects of Financial Markets

  • Philip Bond
  • Alex Edmans
  • Itay Goldstein

A large amount of activity in the financial sector occurs in secondary financial markets, where securities are traded among investors without capital flowing to firms. The stock market is the archetypal example, which in most developed economies captures a lot of attention and resources. Is the stock market just a side show or does it affect real economic activity? In this article, we discuss the potential real effects of financial markets that stem from the informational role of market prices. We review the theoretical literature and show that accounting for the feedback effect from market prices to the real economy significantly changes our understanding of the price formation process, the informativeness of the price, and speculators' trading behavior. We make two main points. First, we argue that a new definition of price efficiency is needed to account for the extent to which prices reflect information useful for the efficiency of real decisions (rather than the extent to which they forecast future cash flows). Second, incorporating the feedback effect into models of financial markets can explain various market phenomena that otherwise seem puzzling. Finally, we review empirical evidence on the real effects of secondary financial markets.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17719.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17719.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Publication status: published as Philip Bond & Alex Edmans & Itay Goldstein, 2012. "The Real Effects of Financial Markets," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 339-360, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17719
Note: AP CF LE
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  1. 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.
  2. Fulghieri, Paolo & Lukin, Dmitry, 2001. "Information production, dilution costs, and optimal security design," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 3-42, July.
  3. Hayne E. Leland., 1990. "Insider Trading: Should It Be Prohibited?," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-195, University of California at Berkeley.
  4. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2010. "Trading Frenzies and Their Impact on Real Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7652, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," NBER Working Papers 10504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Goldstein, Itay & Ozdenoren, Emre & Yuan, Kathy, 2010. "Learning and Complementarities: Implications for Speculative Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7651, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. Leonid Kogan & Dimitris Papanikolaou, 2012. "Economic Activity of Firms and Asset Prices," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 361-384, October.
  9. Benveniste, Lawrence M. & Spindt, Paul A., 1989. "How investment bankers determine the offer price and allocation of new issues," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 343-361.
  10. Khanna, Naveen & Slezak, Steve L & Bradley, Michael, 1994. "Insider Trading, Outside Search, and Resource Allocation: Why Firms and Society May Disagree on Insider Trading Restrictions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(3), pages 575-608.
  11. Malcolm Baker & Jeremy C. Stein & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2002. "When Does the Market Matter? Stock Prices and the Investsment of Equity-Dependent Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1978, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Gromb, Denis, 2000. "Public Trading and Private Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Alex Edmans & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Governance Through Trading and Intervention: A Theory of Multiple Blockholders," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(7), pages 2395-2428.
  14. Fang, Vivian W. & Noe, Thomas H. & Tice, Sheri, 2009. "Stock market liquidity and firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 150-169, October.
  15. Emre Ozdenoren & Kathy Yuan, 2008. "Feedback Effects and Asset Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1939-1975, 08.
  16. repec:reg:rpubli:259 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. repec:oup:rfinst:v:24:y:2010:i:7:p:2395-2428 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Admati, Anat R, 1985. "A Noisy Rational Expectations Equilibrium for Multi-asset Securities Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 629-57, May.
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