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Price Manipulation in an Experimental Asset Market

  • Veiga Helena
  • Vorsatz Marc

    (METEOR)

We analyze in the laboratory whether an uninformed trader is able to manipulate the price of a financial asset. To do so, we compare the results of two different experimental treatments. In the Benchmark Treatment, twelve subjects trade a common value asset that takes either a high or a low value. Information is distributed asymmetrically, only three outof twelve subjects know the actual value of the asset. The Manipulation Treatment is identical to the Benchmark Treatment apart from the fact that we introduce a computer program as an additional trader. This manipulation program buys a fixed number of shares in the beginning of a trading period and sells them afterwards again. Our results show that the last contract price is significantly higher in the Manipulation Treatment if the asset takes a low value and that there are no price differences between the two treatments if the value of the asset is high. Moreover, this simple manipulation program is, at least in some instances, profitable.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR) in its series Research Memorandum with number 024.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2006024
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  1. Archishman Chakraborty & Bilge Yilmaz, 2008. "Microstructure Bluffing with Nested Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 280-84, May.
  2. Archishman Chakraborty & Bilge Yilmaz, . "Informed Manipulation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 7-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Justin Wolfers & Eric Zitzewitz, 2004. "Prediction Markets," Discussion Papers 03-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  4. Bossaerts, Peter & Plott, Charles, 2002. "The CAPM in thin experimental financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1093-1112, July.
  5. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Efficiency of Experimental Security Markets with Insider Information: An Application of Rational Expectations Models," Working Papers 331, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1992. "Stock-Price Manipulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 503-29.
  7. Benabou, Roland & Laroque, Guy, 1992. "Using Privileged Information to Manipulate Markets: Insiders, Gurus, and Credibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 921-58, August.
  8. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  9. Sunder, S., 1989. "Market For Information: Experimental Evidence," GSIA Working Papers 88-89-53, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. Forsythe, Robert & Lundholm, Russell, 1990. "Information Aggregation in an Experimental Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 309-47, March.
  11. Plott, Charles R. & Sunder, Shyam., . "Rational Expectations and the Aggregation of Diverse Information in Laboratory Security Markets," Working Papers 463, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Itay Goldstein & Alexander Guembel, 2008. "Manipulation and the Allocational Role of Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 133-164.
  13. Robin Hanson & Ryan Oprea, 2009. "A Manipulator Can Aid Prediction Market Accuracy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 304-314, 04.
  14. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
  15. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1991. "Information Mirages in Experimental Asset Markets," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(4), pages 463-93, October.
  16. Forsythe, Robert & Palfrey, Thomas R & Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Asset Valuation in an Experimental Market," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 537-67, May.
  17. Mark Bagnoli & Barton L. Lipman, 1996. "Stock Price Manipulation Through Takeover Bids," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 124-147, Spring.
  18. Hanson, Robin & Oprea, Ryan & Porter, David, 2006. "Information aggregation and manipulation in an experimental market," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 449-459, August.
  19. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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  21. Kumar, Praveen & Seppi, Duane J, 1992. " Futures Manipulation with "Cash Settlement."," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1485-502, September.
  22. Marco Ottaviani & Peter Norman Sørensen, 2007. "Outcome Manipulation in Corporate Prediction Markets," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 554-563, 04-05.
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