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Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets

  • Rama Cont

    (Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management)

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud

    (Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management
    CEA Saclay;)

Registered author(s):

    We present a simple model of a stock market where a random communication structure between agents gives rise to a heavy tails in the distribution of stock price variations in the form of an exponentially truncated power-law, similar to distributions observed in recent empirical studies of high frequency market data. Our model provides a link between two well-known market phenomena: the heavy tails observed in the distribution of stock market returns on one hand and 'herding' behavior in financial markets on the other hand. In particular, our study suggests a relation between the excess kurtosis observed in asset returns, the market order flow and the tendency of market participants to imitate each other.

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    Paper provided by Science & Finance, Capital Fund Management in its series Science & Finance (CFM) working paper archive with number 500028.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1997
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Macroeconomic Dynamics, 4 (2), 170 (2000)
    Handle: RePEc:sfi:sfiwpa:500028
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    6. G. Caldarelli & M. Marsili & Y. -C. Zhang, 1997. "A Prototype Model of Stock Exchange," Papers cond-mat/9709118,
    7. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Herding among security analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-396, December.
    8. Engle, Robert F & Gonzalez-Rivera, Gloria, 1991. "Semiparametric ARCH Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(4), pages 345-59, October.
    9. Orlean, Andre, 1995. "Bayesian interactions and collective dynamics of opinion: Herd behavior and mimetic contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 257-274, October.
    10. Kirman, Alan P & Oddou, Claude & Weber, Shlomo, 1986. "Stochastic Communication and Coalition Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(1), pages 129-38, January.
    11. Richard B. Olsen & Ulrich A. Müller & Michel M. Dacorogna & Olivier V. Pictet & Rakhal R. Davé & Dominique M. Guillaume, 1997. "From the bird's eye to the microscope: A survey of new stylized facts of the intra-daily foreign exchange markets (*)," Finance and Stochastics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 95-129.
    12. Rama Cont & Marc Potters & Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, 1997. "Scaling in stock market data: stable laws and beyond," Papers cond-mat/9705087,
    13. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    14. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    15. Pagan, Adrian, 1996. "The econometrics of financial markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 15-102, May.
    16. 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.
    17. Levy, Moshe & Solomon, Sorin, 1997. "New evidence for the power-law distribution of wealth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 90-94.
    18. Muller, Ulrich A. & Dacorogna, Michel M. & Olsen, Richard B. & Pictet, Olivier V. & Schwarz, Matthias & Morgenegg, Claude, 1990. "Statistical study of foreign exchange rates, empirical evidence of a price change scaling law, and intraday analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 1189-1208, December.
    19. Clark, Peter K, 1973. "A Subordinated Stochastic Process Model with Finite Variance for Speculative Prices," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(1), pages 135-55, January.
    20. Ionnides, Yannis M, 1990. "Trading Uncertainty and Market Form," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 619-38, August.
    21. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
    22. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," NBER Working Papers 2538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Kirman, Alan P., 1983. "Communication in markets : A suggested approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 101-108.
    24. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
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