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Asset Price Bubbles and Crashes with Near-Zero-Intelligence Traders: Towards an Understanding of Laboratory Findings

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Listed:
  • John Duffy

    (University of Pittsburgh)

  • M. Utku Unver

    (Harvard University and Koc University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Duffy & M. Utku Unver, 2003. "Asset Price Bubbles and Crashes with Near-Zero-Intelligence Traders: Towards an Understanding of Laboratory Findings," Computational Economics 0307001, EconWPA, revised 17 Mar 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpco:0307001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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