Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation
31 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2004 Last revised: 24 Aug 2008
Date Written: March 1989
Analyses of the role of rational speculators in financial markets usually presume that such investors dampen price fluctuations by trading against liquidity or noise traders. This conclusion does not necessarily hold when noise traders follow positive-feedback investment strategies buy when prices rise and sell when prices fall. In such cases, it may pay rational speculators to try to jump on the bandwagon early and to purchase ahead of noise trader demand. If rational speculators' attempts to jump on the bandwagon early trigger positive-feedback investment strategies, then an increase in the number of forward-looking rational speculators can lead to increased volatility of prices about fundamentals.
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