Advisors and Asset Prices: A Model of the Origins of Bubbles
Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Jose A. Scheinkman
Columbia University; Princeton University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Harrison G. Hong
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
December 21, 2005
AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper
Many asset price bubbles occur during periods of excitement about new technologies. We focus on the role of advisors and the communication process with investors in explaining this stylized fact. Advisors are good-intentioned and want to maximize the welfare of their advisees. But only some understand the new technology (the tech-savvys); others do not and can only make a downward-biased recommendation (the old-fogies). While smart investors recognize the heterogeneity in advisors, naive ones mistakenly take whatever is said at face value. Tech-savvys inflate their forecasts to signal that they are not old-fogies since more accurate information about their type improves the welfare of investors in the future. A bubble arises for a wide range of parameters and its size is maximized when there is a mix of smart and naive investors in the economy. Our model yields a number of additional testable implications.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Technology bubble, financial advisor, communication, reputation
JEL Classification: G10, G20
Date posted: March 15, 2005
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