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A behavioral cobweb model with heterogeneous speculators

Author

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  • Cristian Wieland
  • Frank Westerhoff

Abstract

This paper aims at integrating heterogeneous boundedly rational speculators into the classical cobweb framework in which the producers have naive expectations. The net supply available to consumers thus depends on the positions of the speculators who switch between technical and fundamental forecast rules to predict prices. Our nonlinear, yet quite simple model has the potential to produce price dynamics which mimics the well-known cyclical price fluctuations of commodity markets. We show that if the number of speculators increases we first observe a pitchfork bifurcation and then a period doubling bifurcation. After infinitely many period doubling bifurcations the dynamics becomes chaotic

Suggested Citation

  • Cristian Wieland & Frank Westerhoff, 2004. "A behavioral cobweb model with heterogeneous speculators," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 171, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:171
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Day, Richard H. & Huang, Weihong, 1990. "Bulls, bears and market sheep," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 299-329, December.
    2. Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "On the consistency of backward-looking expectations: The case of the cobweb," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(3-4), pages 333-362, January.
    3. C. H. Hommes, 2001. "Financial markets as nonlinear adaptive evolutionary systems," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 149-167.
    4. Eduardo Borensztein & Peter Wickham & Mohsin S. Khan & Carmen Reinhart, 1994. "The Behavior of Non-Oil Commodity Prices," IMF Occasional Papers 112, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Angus Deaton, 1999. "Commodity Prices and Growth in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 23-40, Summer.
    6. W. Bruce Canoles & Sarahelen Thompson & Scott Irwin & Virginia Grace France, 1998. "An analysis of the profiles and motivations of habitual commodity speculators," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 765-801, October.
    7. Dwight R. Sanders & Scott H. Irwin & Raymond M. Leuthold, 1996. "Noise Trader Demand in Futures Markets," Finance 9609001, EconWPA.
    8. Cashin, Paul & McDermott, C. John & Scott, Alasdair, 2002. "Booms and slumps in world commodity prices," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 277-296, October.
    9. William A. Brock & Cars H. Hommes, 1997. "A Rational Route to Randomness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1059-1096, September.
    10. Brock, William A. & Hommes, Cars H., 1998. "Heterogeneous beliefs and routes to chaos in a simple asset pricing model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1235-1274, August.
    11. Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-1082, December.
    12. Lux, T. & M. Marchesi, "undated". "Volatility Clustering in Financial Markets: A Micro-Simulation of Interacting Agents," Discussion Paper Serie B 437, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Jul 1998.
    13. Hommes, Cars H., 1994. "Dynamics of the cobweb model with adaptive expectations and nonlinear supply and demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 315-335, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cobweb theory; heterogeneous speculators; price dynamics; commodity markets; bifurcation;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices

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