IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2395.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economic Consequences of Noise Traders

Author

Listed:
  • J. Bradford De Long
  • Andrei Shleifer
  • Lawrence H. Summers
  • Robert J. Waldmann

Abstract

The claim that financial markets are efficient is backed by an implicit argument that misinformed "noise traders" can have little influence on asset prices in equilibrium. If noise traders' beliefs are sufficiently different from those of rational agents to significantly affect prices, then noise traders will buy high and sell low. They will then lose money relative to rational investors and eventually be eliminated from the market. We present a simple overlapping-generations model of the stock market in which noise traders with erroneous and stochastic beliefs (a) significantly affect prices and (b) earn higher returns than do rational investors. Noise traders earn high returns because they bear a large amount of the market risk which the presence of noise traders creates in the assets that they hold: their presence raises expected returns because sophisticated investors dislike bearing the risk that noise traders may be irrationally pessimistic and push asset prices down in the future. The model we present has many properties that correspond to the "Keynesian" view of financial markets. (i) Stock prices are more volatile than can be justified on the basis of news about underlying fundamentals. (ii) A rational investor concerned about the short run may be better off guessing the guesses of others than choosing an appropriate P portfolio. (iii) Asset prices diverge frequently but not permanently from average values, giving rise to patterns of mean reversion in stock and bond prices similar to those found directly by Fama and French (1987) for the stock market and to the failures of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure. (iv) Since investors in assets bear not only fundamental but also noise trader risk, the average prices of assets will be below fundamental values; one striking example of substantial divergence between market and fundamental values is the persistent discount on closed-end mutual funds, and a second example is Mehra and Prescott's (1986) finding that American equities sell for much less than the consumption capital asset pricing model would predict. (v) The more the market is dominated by short-term traders as opposed to long-term investors, the poorer is its performance as a social capital allocation mechanism. (vi) Dividend policy and capital structure can matter for the value of the firm even abstracting from tax considerations. And (vii) making assets illiquid and thus no longer subject to the whims of the market -- as is done when a firm goes private -- may enhance their value.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Bradford De Long & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1987. "The Economic Consequences of Noise Traders," NBER Working Papers 2395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2395
    Note: ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2395.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. French, Kenneth R. & Roll, Richard, 1986. "Stock return variances : The arrival of information and the reaction of traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 5-26, September.
    2. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Roland Gillet & Ariane Szafarz, 2004. "Marchés financiers et anticipations rationnelles," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 7-17.
    2. Lui, Yu-Hon & Mole, David, 1998. "The use of fundamental and technical analyses by foreign exchange dealers: Hong Kong evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-545, June.
    3. David Peel & Alan Speight, 1994. "Testing for non-linear dependence in inter-war exchange rates," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(2), pages 391-417, June.
    4. Razvan Stefanescu & Ramona Dumitriu, 2016. "Contrarian and Momentum Profits during Periods of High Trading Volume preceded by Stock Prices Shocks," Risk in Contemporary Economy, "Dunarea de Jos" University of Galati, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, pages 378-384.
    5. Michel Habib & Narayan Naik, 1996. "Models of information aggregation in financial markets: a review," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 159-166.
    6. Jeffrey M. Lacker & John A. Weinberg, 1990. "Takeovers and stock price volatility," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Mar, pages 29-44.
    7. Rudiger Dornbusch & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1987. "The Flexible Exchange Rate System: Experience and Alternatives," NBER Working Papers 2464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Fischer Black, 1988. "An Equilibrium Model of the Crash," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 269-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Shawn Fremstad, 2008. "Measuring Poverty and Economic Inclusion: The Current Poverty Measure, the NAS Alternative, and the Case for a Truly New Approach," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-36, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    10. Takatoshi Ito & V. Vance Roley, 1988. "Intraday Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate Movements: News or Noise?," NBER Working Papers 2703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Christopher K. Ma, 1990. "Mean Reversions in GNMA Returns," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 207-226.
    12. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharftstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1992. " Herd on the Street: Informational Inefficiencies in a Market with Short-Term Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1461-1484, September.
    13. Pacces, Alessio M., 2000. "Financial intermediation in the securities markets law and economics of conduct of business regulation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 479-510, December.
    14. Miller, M. & Weller, P., 1988. "Exchange Rate Bands And Realignments In A Stationary Stochastic Setting," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 317, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    15. Naik, Narayan Y., 1997. "On aggregation of information in competitive markets: The dynamic case," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1199-1227, June.
    16. Mervyn A. King & Jonathan I. Leape, 1987. "Asset Accumulation, Information, and the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Froot, Kenneth A. & Ito, Takatoshi, 1989. "On the consistency of short-run and long-run exchange rate expectations," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 487-510, December.
    18. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Kenneth Froot, 1990. "Exchange Rate Forecasting Techniques, Survey Data, and Implications for the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 3470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-1214, December.
    20. Patricia Fraser & Martin Hoesli & Lynn McAlevey, 2008. "House Prices and Bubbles in New Zealand," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 71-91, July.
    21. Miller, M. & Weller, P. & Williamson, J., 1989. "The Stabilizing Properties Of Target Zones," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 318, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    22. Patricia Fraser & Ronald MacDonald, 1993. "The Efficiency of CAC Stock Price Forecasts : a Survey Based Perspective," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 44(5), pages 991-1000.
    23. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Jongwoo Kim, 1998. "Was There Really an Earlier Period of International Financial Integration Comparable to Today?," NBER Working Papers 6738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Guy V. G. Stevens, 1989. "Developments and Prospects in Macroeconometric Modeling: A Comment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 305-308, Oct-Dec.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2395. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.