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Herd Behavior in Efficient Financial Markets

  • Andreas Park
  • Hamid Sabourian

Rational herd behavior and informationally efficient security prices have long been considered to be mutually exclusive but for exceptional cases. In this paper we describe conditions on the underlying information structure that are necessary and sufficient for informational herding. Employing a standard sequential security trading model, we argue that people may be subject to herding if and only if there is sufficient amount of noise and, loosely, their information leads them to believe that extreme outcomes are more likely than moderate ones. We then show that herding has a significant effect on prices: prices can move substantially during herding and they become more volatile than if there were no herding. Furthermore, herding can be persistent and can affect the process of learning. We also characterize conditions for contrarian behavior. Our analysis suggests that herding (and contrarian behavior) may be more pervasive than was originally thought. Hence, the paper provides a new perspective on herding in financial markets with efficient prices

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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-249.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 03 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-249
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2003. "Financial Crises as Herds: Overturning the Critiques," NBER Working Papers 9658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
  4. Avery, Christopher & Zemsky, Peter, 1998. "Multidimensional Uncertainty and Herd Behavior in Financial Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 724-48, September.
  5. Mathias Drehmann & J�rg Oechssler & Andreas Roider, 2005. "Herding and Contrarian Behavior in Financial Markets: An Internet Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1403-1426, December.
  6. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  7. Marco Cipriani & Antonio Guarino, 2005. "Herd Behavior in a Laboratory Financial Market," Experimental 0502002, EconWPA.
  8. Cipriani Marco & Guarino Antonio, 2008. "Herd Behavior and Contagion in Financial Markets," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-56, October.
  9. Sunil Sharma & Sushil Bikhchandani, 2000. "Herd Behavior in Financial Markets: A Review," IMF Working Papers 00/48, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Dasgupta, Amil & Prat, Andrea, 2005. "Asset Price Dynamics When Traders Care About Reputation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  12. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2001. "Herd Behavior and Cascading in Capital Markets: A Review and Synthesis," MPRA Paper 5186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980, March.
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