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Forecasting the Collapse of Speculative Bubbles: An Empirical Investigation of the S&P 500 Composite Index


  • Chris Brooks

    () (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)

  • Apostolos Katsaris

    () (ICMA Centre, University of Reading)


In this paper we test for the presence of periodically partially collapsing, positive and negative, speculative bubbles in the S&P 500 Composite Index for the period 1888-2001. We extend existing regime-switching models of speculative behaviour by including abnormal volume as an indicator of the probable time of the bubble collapse. Abnormal volume is included as both a classifying variable that helps predict the probability of the bubble surviving, and as a factor of risk in the surviving state equation. Increased volume is considered a signal that market beliefs concerning the future of the bubble are changing. We show that abnormal volume is a significant predictor and classifier of returns. Furthermore, we examine the financial usefulness of the augmented model by studying the risk-adjusted profits of a trading rule formed using inferences from it. Use of the augmented model trading rule leads to higher risk adjusted returns than those obtained from employing existing models or a buy and hold strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Brooks & Apostolos Katsaris, 2002. "Forecasting the Collapse of Speculative Bubbles: An Empirical Investigation of the S&P 500 Composite Index," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2002-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:icmadp:icma-dp2002-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Norden Simon & Vigfusson Robert, 1998. "Avoiding the Pitfalls: Can Regime-Switching Tests Reliably Detect Bubbles?," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, April.
    2. Simon van Norden & Huntley Schaller & ), 1995. "Speculative Behaviour, Regime-Switching, and Stock Market Crashes," Econometrics 9502003, EconWPA.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1979. "Speculative bubbles, crashes and rational expectations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-389.
    4. Kenneth D. West, 1987. "A Specification Test for Speculative Bubbles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 553-580.
    5. Hall, Stephen G & Psaradakis, Zacharias & Sola, Martin, 1999. "Detecting Periodically Collapsing Bubbles: A Markov-Switching Unit Root Test," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 143-154, March-Apr.
    6. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-1088, October.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:30703980 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. White, Eugene N, 1990. "The Stock Market Boom and Crash of 1929 Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 67-83, Spring.
    9. Flood, Robert P & Garber, Peter M, 1980. "Market Fundamentals versus Price-Level Bubbles: The First Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(4), pages 745-770, August.
    10. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "On the Possibility of Price Decreasing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1467-1474, November.
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    More about this item


    Stock market bubbles; fundamental values; dividends; regime switching; speculative bubble tests;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates


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