Asset Price Bubbles and Crashes with Near-Zero-Intelligence Traders: Towards an Understanding of Laboratory Findings
We examine whether a simple agent--based model can generate asset price bubbles and crashes of the type observed in a series of laboratory asset market experiments beginning with the work of Smith, Suchanek and Williams (1988). We follow the methodology of Gode and Sunder (1993, 1997) and examine the outcomes that obtain when populations of zero-- intelligence (ZI) budget constrained, artificial agents are placed in the various laboratory market environments that have given rise to price bubbles. We have to put more structure on the behavior of the ZI-agents in order to address features of the laboratory asset bubble environment. We show that our model of "near--zero--intelligence" traders, operating in the same double auction environments used in several different laboratory studies, generates asset price bubbles and crashes comparable to those observed in laboratory experiments and can also match other, more subtle features of the experimental data.
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