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What Causes Herding:Information Cascade or Search Cost ?

Author

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  • Lin, William
  • Tsai, Shih-Chuan
  • Sun, David

Abstract

We analyze in this study what could have caused herding in the stock market. Information cascades have often been considered as a major cause. However, we present in this study evidences inconsistent with that hypothesis. Our analysis is in support of an alternative theory based on search cost of investors. Specifically, previous works studied daily data or those with lower frequency based on a herding measure of Lakonishok, Shleifer, and Vishny (1992). We adopt instead the measure of Patterson and Sharma (2006) and argue that the search model of Vayanos and Wang (2007) characterize herding phenomenon better. Our analysis supports their hypothesis employing intraday order book data. We find that stronger order flow herding is driven by lower transactions cost. Herding tend to occur in trading of high-cap, high turnover stocks, which contradicts prediction of the information cascade hypothesis. Information cascade effect, if any, is actually stronger near market close than at open. Therefore our study suggests that herding could be related more to intrinsic search cost structure of investors rather than information related factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin, William & Tsai, Shih-Chuan & Sun, David, 2009. "What Causes Herding:Information Cascade or Search Cost ?," MPRA Paper 20217, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Jan 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20217
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/21204/4/MPRA_paper_21204.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chang, Eric C. & Cheng, Joseph W. & Khorana, Ajay, 2000. "An examination of herd behavior in equity markets: An international perspective," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1651-1679, October.
    2. Rama Cont & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1997. "Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 500028, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    3. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 2002. "An introduction to statistical finance," Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive 313238, Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management.
    4. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-748, September.
    5. Cont, Rama & Bouchaud, Jean-Philipe, 2000. "Herd Behavior And Aggregate Fluctuations In Financial Markets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 170-196, June.
    6. Bouchaud, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "An introduction to statistical finance," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 313(1), pages 238-251.
    7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    8. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
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    Cited by:

    1. R. G Gelos, 2011. "International Mutual Funds, Capital Flow Volatility, and Contagion – A Survey," IMF Working Papers 11/92, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Herding; information cascade; search model; order book;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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