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The power of words in financial markets: soft versus hard communication,a strategy method experiment

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  • Corgnet Bruce

    ()

  • Angela Sutan

    ()

  • Arvin Aashta

    ()

Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of non-informative communications on asset prices. An experimental approach allows us to control for the release of non-relevant messages. We introduce the release of messages in standard experimental asset markets with bubbles (Smith, Suchanek and Williams 1988) through a strategy method experiment. We conjecture that a priori uninformative messages can significantly impact the level of asset prices. Uninformative communications may be used by boundedly rational subjects to compute the fundamental value of the asset. In addition, rational agents may anticipate such an effect and adapt their strategy to the messages received. We asked 182 subjects to construct strategies about their action in a standard experimental asset market environment. Our analysis sheds light on the possibility of manipulation and stabilization of financial markets by influential agents such as financial “gurus” or central bankers.

Suggested Citation

  • Corgnet Bruce & Angela Sutan & Arvin Aashta, 2006. "The power of words in financial markets: soft versus hard communication,a strategy method experiment," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 006, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized vs. Hierarchical Firms," NBER Working Papers 7705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lei, Vivian & Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R, 2001. "Nonspeculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality vs. Actual Irrationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 831-859, July.
    3. Martin Dufwenberg & Tobias Lindqvist & Evan Moore, 2005. "Bubbles and Experience: An Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1731-1737, December.
    4. Sonnemans, Joep & Hommes, Cars & Tuinstra, Jan & van de Velden, Henk, 2004. "The instability of a heterogeneous cobweb economy: a strategy experiment on expectation formation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 453-481, August.
    5. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-1151, September.
    6. Jeremy C. Stein, 2002. "Information Production and Capital Allocation: Decentralized versus Hierarchical Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 1891-1921, October.
    7. David Porter & Vernon Smith, 1994. "Stock market bubbles in the laboratory," Applied Mathematical Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 111-128.
    8. Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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