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Learning about Risk and Return: A Simple Model of Bubbles and Crashes

  • Wiliam Branch

    (University of Californis - Irvine)

  • George W. Evans

    ()

    (University of Oregon Economics Department)

This paper demonstrates that an asset pricing model with least-squares learning can lead to bubbles and crashes as endogenous responses to the fundamentals driving asset prices. When agents are risk-averse they generate forecasts of the conditional variance of a stock's return. Recursive updating of the conditional variance and expected return implies two mechanisms through which learning impacts stock prices: occasional shocks may lead agents to lower their risk estimate and increase their expected return, thereby triggering a bubble; along a bubble path recursive estimates of risk will increase and crash the bubble.

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Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2008-1.

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Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2008-1
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  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, . "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 51, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Harrison Hong & Jose Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2005. "Asset Float and Speculative Bubbles," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000861, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Allen F. & Morris S. & Postlewaite A., 1993. "Finite Bubbles with Short Sale Constraints and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 206-229, December.
  4. Harrison Hong & Jose A. Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2007. "Advisors and Asset Prices: A Model of the Origins of Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 13504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 2003. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1476-1498, December.
  6. Merton, Robert C., 1980. "On estimating the expected return on the market : An exploratory investigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 323-361, December.
  7. Jean-Michel Grandmont, 1997. "Expectations Formation and Stability of Large Socioeconomic Systems," Working Papers 97-27, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "The conquest of South American inflation," Working Paper 2006-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Bruce McGough, 2006. "Shocking Escapes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 507-528, 04.
  10. Timmermann, Allan, 1994. "Can Agents Learn to Form Rational Expectations? Some Results on Convergence and Stability of Learning in the UK Stock Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(425), pages 777-97, July.
  11. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Specification Test for Speculative Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 2067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-38, August.
  13. Volker Böhm & Carl Chiarella, 2005. "Mean Variance Preferences, Expectations Formation, And The Dynamics Of Random Asset Prices," Mathematical Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 61-97.
  14. Evans, George W, 1991. "Pitfalls in Testing for Explosive Bubbles in Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 922-30, September.
  15. Carceles-Poveda, Eva & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 6223, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. In-Koo Cho & Kenneth Kasa, 2003. "Learning Dynamics and Endogenous Currency Crises," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 132, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Froot, Kenneth A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1991. "Intrinsic Bubbles: The Case of Stock Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1189-214, December.
  18. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Speculative bubbles, crashes and rational expectations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-389.
  19. Klaus Adam & Albert Marcet & Juan Pablo Nicolini, 2006. "Learning and Stock Market Volatility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 15, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
  21. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "Subjective Expectations and Asset-Return Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1102-1130, September.
  22. Eva Carceles-Poveda & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2007. "Online Appendix to Asset Pricing with Adaptive Learning," Technical Appendices carceles08, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  23. Cho, In-Koo & Williams, Noah & Sargent, Thomas J, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40, January.
  24. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
  25. Jonathan Lewellen & Jay Shanken, 2002. "Learning, Asset-Pricing Tests, and Market Efficiency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1113-1145, 06.
  26. Geweke, John, 2001. "A note on some limitations of CRRA utility," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 341-345, June.
  27. Eli Ofek & Matthew Richardson, 2003. "DotCom Mania: The Rise and Fall of Internet Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1113-1138, 06.
  28. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
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