October, 2014

Bubbles, Crashes and Endogenous Uncertainty in Linked Asset and Product Markets

  • Erik Kimbrough

    Associate Professor of Economics, Chapman University
  • Taylor A. Jaworski

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In laboratory asset markets, subjects trade shares of a firm whose profits in a linked product market determine dividends. Treatments vary whether dividend information is revealed once per period or in real-time and whether the firm is controlled by a profit-maximizing robot or human subject. The latter variation induces uncertainty about firm behavior, bridging the gap between laboratory and field markets. Our data replicate well-known features of laboratory asset markets (e.g. bubbles), suggesting these are robust to a market-based dividend process. Compared to a sample of previous experiments, both real-time information revelation and endogenous uncertainty impede the bubble-mitigating impact of experience.

 

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