Bubbles in Assets with Finite Life
39 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2015 Last revised: 22 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 20, 2016
We study the speculative value of a finitely lived asset when investors disagree and short sales are limited. In this case, investors are willing to pay a speculative value for the resale option they obtain when they acquire the asset. Using martingale arguments, we characterize the equilibrium speculative value as a solution to a fixed point problem for a monotone operator F. A Dynamic Programming Principle applies and is used to show that the minimal solution to the fixed-point problem is a viscosity solution of a naturally associated (non-local) obstacle problem. Combining the monotonicity of the operator F and a comparison principle for viscosity solutions to the obstacle problem, we obtain several comparison of solution results. We also use a characterization of the exercise boundary of the obstacle problem to study the effect of an increase in the costs of transactions on the value of the bubble and on the volume of trade, and in particular to quantify the effect of a small transaction (Tobin) tax.
Keywords: Asset-price bubble, finitely-lived financial asset, heterogeneous beliefs
JEL Classification: G1, G12, G14, G18
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