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Are stock markets really like beauty contests? Empirical evidence of higher order belief's impact on asset prices

  • Pierre Monnin
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    The goal of this paper is to assess, for the first time, the empirical impact of "Keynes’ beauty contest", or "higher order beliefs", on asset price volatility. The paper shows that heterogeneous expectations induce higher order beliefs and that heterogeneous expectation asset pricing models theoretically generate more volatility than rational expectation models. The paper also explains how, with some assumptions on the distribution of public and private information, a model with higher order beliefs can be empirically estimated. The model is then applied to annual data of the American stock market. The results show that a model with higher order beliefs generates a level of volatility in line with the price volatility observed on the market.

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    File URL: http://www.iew.uzh.ch/wp/iewwp202.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 202.

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    Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:202
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    1. Biais, Bruno & Bossaerts, Peter & Spatt, Chester, 2003. "Equilibrium Asset Pricing Under Heterogenous Information," IDEI Working Papers 159, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stephen Morris, . "Speculative Investor Behavior and Learning," Penn CARESS Working Papers d12f7936881423171f6589501, Penn Economics Department.
    4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
    5. Basak, Suleyman, 2000. "A model of dynamic equilibrium asset pricing with heterogeneous beliefs and extraneous risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 63-95, January.
    6. Ho-Mou Wu & Wen-Chung Guo, 2004. "Asset price volatility and trading volume with rational beliefs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 795-829, May.
    7. Miller, Edward M, 1977. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Divergence of Opinion," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1151-68, September.
    8. Franklin Allen & Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2003. "Beauty Contests, Bubbles and Iterated Expectations in Asset Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1406, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    9. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2008. "Higher Order Expectations in Asset Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1987. "Cointegration and Tests of Present Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1062-88, October.
    11. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell, 1986. "The Dividend-Price Ratio and Expectations of Future Dividends and Discount Factors," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 812, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    12. P N Smith & S Sorensen & M R Wickens, . "Macroeconomic Sources of Equity Risk," Discussion Papers 03/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    13. Zhong, Maosen & Darrat, Ali F. & Anderson, Dwight C., 2003. "Do US stock prices deviate from their fundamental values? Some new evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 673-697, April.
    14. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
    15. Biais, Bruno & Bossaerts, Peter, 1998. "Asset Prices and Trading Volume in a Beauty Contest," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 307-40, April.
    16. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
    17. Harrison, J Michael & Kreps, David M, 1978. "Speculative Investor Behavior in a Stock Market with Heterogeneous Expectations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 323-36, May.
    18. LeRoy, Stephen F & Porter, Richard D, 1981. "The Present-Value Relation: Tests Based on Implied Variance Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 555-74, May.
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