Manias and Mimesis: Applying René Girard’s Mimetic Theory to Financial Bubbles

34 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2019

See all articles by Byrne Hobart

Byrne Hobart

Independent

Tobias Huber

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC)

Date Written: October 11, 2019

Abstract

While next-generation models in quantitative finance have illuminated the origins of market bubbles and crashes by incorporating herding and imitation behavior, the underlying cause of imitation in financial markets remains elusive. Given that imitation is at the core of bubbles, we need a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. In this paper, we apply René Girard’s mimetic theory in a series of case studies of historical speculative manias, from the 1840s railway mania to the ICO boom and collapse, and even to present-day mimesis-driven market distortions.

Keywords: Financial Bubbles, Mimetic Theory, René Girard, Imitation

Suggested Citation

Hobart, Byrne and Huber, Tobias, Manias and Mimesis: Applying René Girard’s Mimetic Theory to Financial Bubbles (October 11, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3469465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3469465

Tobias Huber

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC) ( email )

ETH-Zentrum
Zurich, CH-8092
United States

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