Self-Fulfilling Price Cycles

John Hardman-Moore, James Best

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Abstract / Description of output

This paper presents a model of a self-fulfilling price cycle in an asset market. Price oscillates deterministically even though the underlying environment is stationary. The mechanism that we uncover is driven by endogenous variation in the investment horizons of the different market participants, informed and uninformed.
On even days, the price is high; on odd days it is low. On even days, informed traders are willing to jettison their good assets, knowing that they can buy them back the next day, when the price is low. The anticipated drop in price more than offsets any potential loss in dividend. Because of these asset sales, the informed build up their cash holdings. Understanding that the market is flooded with good assets, the uninformed traders are willing to pay a high price. But their investment horizon is longer than that of the informed traders: their intention is to hold the assets they purchase, not to resell.
On odd days, the price is low because the uninformed recognise that the informed are using their cash holdings to cherry-pick good assets from the market. Now the uninformed, like the informed, are investing short-term. Rather than buy-and-hold as they do with assets purchased on even days, on odd days the uninformed are buying to sell.
Notice that, at the root of the model, there lies a credit constraint. Although the informed are flush with cash on odd days, they are not deep pockets. On each cherry that they pick out of the market, they earn a high return: buying cheap, selling dear. However they don’t have enough cash to strip the market of cherries and thereby bid the price up.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherEdinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Publication series

NameESE Discussion Papers


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