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Taking the Road Less Traveled: Does Conversation Eradicate Pernicious Cascades?

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  • Henry Cao

    (University of North Carolina)

  • David Hirshleifer

    (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University)

Abstract

We offer a model in which sequences of individuals often converge upon poor decisions and are prone to fads, despite being able to communicate both past payoff outcomes and the private signals underlying past choices. This reflects direct and indirect action-based informational externalities; and conversational externalities - the failure of individuals to take into account the benefits their conversations confer upon later individuals. In contrast with previous cascades literature, cascades here are spontaneously dislodged and in general have a probability less than one of lasting forever. Furthermore, the ability of individuals to communicate can reduce average decision accuracy and welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Cao & David Hirshleifer, 2004. "Taking the Road Less Traveled: Does Conversation Eradicate Pernicious Cascades?," Game Theory and Information 0412001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0412001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2017. "Is stock investment contagious among siblings?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1505-1528, June.
    2. Élise PAYZAN LE NESTOUR, 2010. "Bayesian Learning in UnstableSettings: Experimental Evidence Based on the Bandit Problem," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-28, Swiss Finance Institute.
    3. J. Daniel Aromí, 2013. "Pre-play Research in a Model of Bank Runs," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 59, pages 57-86, January-D.
    4. Tao Wang, 2011. "Dynamic Equilibrium Bunching," Working Paper 1291, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    5. Wang, Tao, 2017. "Information revelation through bunching," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 568-582.
    6. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008. "Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets," MPRA Paper 9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Richard Fu & Swasti Gupta-Mukherjee, 2014. "Geography, Informal Information Flows and Mutual Fund Portfolios," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 43(1), pages 181-214, March.
    8. Gerling, Lena & Kellermann, Kim Leonie, 2019. "The impact of election information shocks on populist party preferences: Evidence from Germany," CIW Discussion Papers 3/2019, University of Münster, Center for Interdisciplinary Economics (CIW).
    9. Van Parys, Jessica & Ash, Elliott, 2018. "Sequential decision-making with group identity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1-18.
    10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 2005. "Information Cascades and Observational Learning," Working Paper Series 2005-22, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
    11. Wen-Lin Wu & Yin-Feng Gau, 2017. "Home bias in portfolio choices: social learning among partially informed agents," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 527-556, February.
    12. Kaustia, Markku & Knüpfer, Samuli, 2012. "Peer performance and stock market entry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 321-338.
    13. James C. D. Fisher & John Wooders, 2017. "Interacting information cascades: on the movement of conventions between groups," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 63(1), pages 211-231, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    informational cascades; social learning; herding; social efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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