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Herding through learning in an asset pricing model

Michele Berardi ()

Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series from Economics, The University of Manchester

Abstract: In this paper we show how uncertainty and learning can lead to a disconnection between fundamental values and prices in a simple asset pricing model. Agents use prices, besides an idiosyncratic exogenous signal, to infer fundamental values: as agents accumulate information, they put increasing weight on the public signal and in the limit they ignore completely their private information. The Bayesian equilibrium implies that agents end up relying only on prices in their signal extraction problem, an outcome that reminds the rational herding result in sequential decision making. We also consider two extensions that should mitigate this e¤ect, namely constant gain adaptive learning and Bayesian learning with an explicit probability of change in the fundamental. In both cases the problem persists, though somewhat mitigated. As a by-product, we also establish a connection between the constant gain parameter in adaptive learning and the subjective probability of exogenous changes in Bayesian learning.

Pages: 30 pages
Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fmk and nep-mic
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