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Market Bubbles and Chrashes

  • Kaizoji, Taisei
  • Sornette, Didier

Episodes of market crashes have fascinated economists for centuries. Although many academics, practitioners and policy makers have studied questions related to collapsing asset price bubbles, there is little consensus yet about their causes and effects. This review and essay evaluates some of the hypotheses offered to explain the market crashes that often follow asset price bubbles. Starting from historical accounts and syntheses of past bubbles and crashes, we put the problem in perspective with respect to the development of the efficient market hypothesis. We then present the models based on heterogeneous agents and the limits to arbitrage that prevent rational agents from bursting bubbles before they inflate. Then, we explore another set of explanations of why rational traders would be led to actually profit from and surf on bubbles, by anticipating the behavior of noise traders or by realizing the difficulties in synchronizing their actions. We then end by discussing a complex system approach of social imitation leading to collective market regimes like herding and the phenomenon of bifurcation (or phase transition) that rationalize what crash can occur in unstable market regimes. The key insight is that diagnosing bubbles may be feasible when taking into account the positive feedback mechanisms that give rise to transient “super-xponential” price growth, the bubbles.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40798/1/MPRA_paper_40798.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15204.

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Date of creation: 13 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15204
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  1. Utpal Bhattacharya, 2008. "The Causes and Consequences of Recent Financial Market Bubbles: An Introduction," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 3-10, January.
  2. Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
  3. Lawrence Blume, 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Best-Response Strategy Revision," Game Theory and Information 9307001, EconWPA, revised 26 Jan 1994.
  4. Abreu, Dilip & Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2002. "Synchronization risk and delayed arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 341-360.
  5. Dilip Abreu & Markus K. Brunnermeier, 2002. "Bubbles and crashes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24905, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Nicholas Barberis & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "A Model of Investor Sentiment," NBER Working Papers 5926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Almazan, Andres & Brown, Keith C. & Carlson, Murray & Chapman, David A., 2004. "Why constrain your mutual fund manager?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 289-321, August.
  8. S.G. Badrinath & Sunil Wahal, 2002. "Momentum Trading by Institutions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2449-2478, December.
  9. William A. Brock, 1993. "Pathways to randomness in the economy: Emergent nonlinearity and chaos in economics and finance," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 8(1), pages 3-55.
  10. Brown, Stephen J, et al, 1992. "Survivorship Bias in Performance Studies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 553-80.
  11. Andersen, J.V. & Sornette, D., 2004. "Fearless versus fearful speculative financial bubbles," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 337(3), pages 565-585.
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