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Prospect Theory and sentiment-driven fluctuations

Ciccarone Giuseppe (), Francesco Giuli () and Enrico Marchetti ()
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Ciccarone Giuseppe: Department of Economics and Law, Sapienza University of Rome, Via del Castro Laurenziano 9, 00161Rome, Italy, Tel. +39 3480139805

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2020, vol. 20, issue 1, 25

Abstract: In this paper we aim to present a novel channel through which the volatility of the monetary/financial sector affects the instability of the real macroeconomic variables originated by self-fulfilling market sentiments. To this aim, we insert some elements of Prospect Theory in the preferences of agents living in an overlapping generations economy where consumers’ heterogeneity and firms’ imperfect information on the level of aggregate demand allow market sentiments to affect the equilibrium path of the economy under rational expectations. In this environment, greater heterogeneity in the household’s narrow framing parameter and in the degree of competition in goods markets favor the emergence of self-fulfilling equilibria by exacerbating the coordination problem generated by a pair-wise matching process taking place in the labor market. Furthermore, the more dispersed are agents’ deviations from standard rationality the higher is the volatility of the economy due to sentiment fluctuations. Finally, a higher volatility of the money/financial market, by increasing the effect of Prospect Theory on households’ choices under risk, increases the noise of the signal upon which firms make their hiring decisions; this, in its turn, generates greater variability in market sentiments and hence in real economic activity.

Keywords: prospect theory; self-fulfilling equilibria; sentiments; behavioral macroeconomics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D84 E03 E32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2017-0118

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