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Is playing alone in the darkness sufficient to prevent informational cascades?

  • Annamaria Fiore

    (DSE, Università di Bari)

  • Andrea Morone

    (DSE, Università di Bari)

Models of herd behaviour and informational cascades were theoretically developed in 1992 respectively by Banerjee (A simple model of herd behavior) and Bikhchandani, Hirshleifer and Welch (A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and Cultural Change as Informational Cascades). Both articles pointed out the existence of an information externality that causes a welfare loss, and both proposed the idea that destroying an amount of information may turn out in a social improvement. Although this is an old idea and in the last years many features of herd behaviour and informational cascades were studied, this particular aspect was never developed or extensively analysed. In this article we will try to investigate this hypothesis both theoretically and experimentally.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0503002.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 04 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0503002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1991. "A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 67, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Allsopp, L. & Hey, J.D., 1998. "Two Experiments to Test a Model of Herd Behaviour," Discussion Papers 98-28, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  4. Sgroi, D., 2000. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profit and Welfare," Economics Papers 2000-w14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Andrea Morone, 2002. "Financial Market in the Laboratory," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 151, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  8. Daniel Sgroi, 2003. "The Right Choice at the Right Time: A Herding Experiment in Endogenous Time," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 159-180, October.
  9. Sgroi, D., 2004. "Minority Opinion and Herd Behaviour," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0421, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. D. Sgroi, 2001. "Controlling the Herd: Applications of Herding Theory," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0106, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  11. John D. Hey & Andrea Morone, 2004. "Do Markets Drive Out Lemmings-or Vice Versa?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(284), pages 637-659, November.
  12. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  13. 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.
  14. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
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