A Simple Agent-based Financial Market Model: Direct Interactions and Comparisons of Trading Profits

  • Frank WesterhoffEmail author


In the recent past, a number of interesting agent-based financial market models have been proposed. These models successfully explain some important stylized facts of financial markets, such as bubbles and crashes, fat tails for the distribution of returns and volatility clustering. These models, reviewed, for instance, in Chen, Chang, and Du (in press); Hommes (2006); LeBaron (2006); Lux (in press); Westerhoff (2009), are based on the observation that financial market participants use different heuristic trading rules to determine their speculative investment positions. Note that survey studies by Frankel and Froot (1986);Menkhoff (1997);Menkhoff and Taylor (2007); Taylor and Allen (1992) in fact reveal that market participants use technical and fundamental analysis to assess financial markets. Agent-based financial market models obviously have a strong empirical microfoundation.

Recall that technical analysis is a trading philosophy built on the assumption that prices tend to move in trends (Murphy, 1999). By extrapolating price trends, technical trading rules usually add a positive feedback to the dynamics of financial markets, and thus may be destabilizing. Fundamental analysis is grounded on the belief that asset prices return to their fundamental values in the long run (Graham and Dodd, 1951). Buying undervalued and selling overvalued assets, as suggested by these rules, apparently has a stabilizing impact on market dynamics. In most agent-based financial market models, the relative importance of these trading strategies varies over time. It is not difficult to imagine that changes in the composition of applied trading rules - such as a major shift from fundamental to technical trading rules - may have a marked impact on the dynamics of financial markets.


Trading Strategy Trading Rule Tail Index Simulation Design Volatility Cluster 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BambergBambergGermany

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