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Herd behavior and aggregate fluctuations in financial markets

  • Rama CONT

    (Dept of Economics, American University & Centre d'Etudes de Saclay, France)

  • Jean-Philippe BOUCHAUD

    (Centre d'Etudes de Saclay, France and Science & Finance Research Group)

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    We present a simple model of a stock market where a random communication structure between agents gives rise to a heavy tails in the distribution of stock price variations in the form of an exponentially truncated power-law, similar to distributions observed in recent empirical studies of high frequency market data. Our model provides a link between two well-known market phenomena: the heavy tails observed in the distribution of stock market returns on one hand and 'herding' behavior in financial markets on the other hand. In particular, our study suggests a relation between the excess kurtosis observed in asset returns, the market order flow and the tendency of market participants to imitate each other.

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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 9712008.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Dec 1997
    Date of revision: 30 Dec 1997
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:9712008
    Note: Type of Document - Postscript; prepared on UNIX Sparc TeX; pages: 29
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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    6. 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.
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    11. Peter Bak & Kan Chen & Jose Scheinkman & Michael Woodford, 1992. "Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks: Self-Organized Criticality in a Model of Production and Inventory Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    15. Pagan, Adrian, 1996. "The econometrics of financial markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 15-102, May.
    16. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    17. Levy, Moshe & Solomon, Sorin, 1997. "New evidence for the power-law distribution of wealth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 90-94.
    18. Welch, Ivo, 2000. "Herding among security analysts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-396, December.
    19. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1993. "The Economics of Rumours," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 309-27, April.
    20. Muller, Ulrich A. & Dacorogna, Michel M. & Olsen, Richard B. & Pictet, Olivier V. & Schwarz, Matthias & Morgenegg, Claude, 1990. "Statistical study of foreign exchange rates, empirical evidence of a price change scaling law, and intraday analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 1189-1208, December.
    21. Bollerslev, Tim & Chou, Ray Y. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1992. "ARCH modeling in finance : A review of the theory and empirical evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 5-59.
    22. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    23. Trueman, Brett, 1994. "Analyst Forecasts and Herding Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 97-124.
    24. Benoit Mandelbrot, 1963. "The Variation of Certain Speculative Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36, pages 394.
    25. Engle, Robert F & Gonzalez-Rivera, Gloria, 1991. "Semiparametric ARCH Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(4), pages 345-59, October.
    26. Orlean, Andre, 1995. "Bayesian interactions and collective dynamics of opinion: Herd behavior and mimetic contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 257-274, October.
    27. Ionnides, Yannis M, 1990. "Trading Uncertainty and Market Form," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(3), pages 619-38, August.
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