Econometrica: Sep 2012, Volume 80, Issue 5

Speculative Overpricing in Asset Markets With Information Flows

https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA8781
p. 1937-1976

Thomas R. Palfrey, Stephanie W. Wang

In this paper, we derive and experimentally test a theoretical model of speculation in multiperiod asset markets with public information flows. The speculation arises from the traders' heterogeneous posteriors as they make different inferences from sequences of public information. This leads to overpricing in the sense that price exceeds the most optimistic belief about the real value of the asset. We find evidence of speculative overpricing in both incomplete and complete markets, where the information flow is a gradually revealed sequence of imperfect public signals about the state of the world. We also find evidence of asymmetric price reaction to good news and bad news, another feature of equilibrium price dynamics under our model. Markets with a relaxed short‐sale constraint exhibit less overpricing.

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