Mostrando postagens com marcador John Maynard Keynes. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador John Maynard Keynes. Mostrar todas as postagens

25 setembro 2015

Keynes: o verdadeiro pai das Finanças Comportamentais

In 1978 the financial economist Michael Jensen wrote: “I believe there is no other proposition in economics which has more solid empirical evidence supporting it than the efficient market hypothesis.” If it is possible to “jinx” a scientific hypothesis, Professor Jensen may have done it. Consider the history since that time.

First, there was the crash in stock prices in October 1987. The late 1990s saw a spectacular rise and fall in technology stocks. The irrational exuberance shifted to real estate, leading up to the peak in August 2006, followed by a crash that helped cause the global financial crisis. Even former chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan apologised: “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity — myself especially — are in a state of shocked disbelief.”

Many other economists who were ardent supporters of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) have also been surprised by recent history but there is one man who would not have been “shocked”: John Maynard Keynes.

Keynes is remembered for his view that governments should spend money in recessions to regain full employment, an argument made famous in The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936). Few, however, realise that Keynes was a true forerunner of behavioural finance. Had more people, including Greenspan, studied the chapter of The General Theory on financial markets, the crisis might have been avoided.

Keynes thought markets had been more “efficient” at the beginning of the 20th century, when managers owned most of the shares in a company and knew what it was worth. As shares became more widely dispersed, “the element of real knowledge in the valuation of investments by those who own them or contemplate purchasing them . . . seriously declined”.

By the time of The General Theory, Keynes had concluded that markets had gone crazy. “Day-to-day fluctuations in the profits of existing investments, which are obviously of an ephemeral and non-significant character, tend to have an altogether excessive, and even an absurd, influence on the market.”

To buttress his point, he noted the fact that shares of ice companies were higher in summer months when sales are higher. This fact is surprising because in an efficient market, stock prices reflect the long-run value of a company, and do not rise in good seasons. Recent academic studies show this pattern is still true.

Keynes was also sceptical that professional money managers would perform the role of the “smart money” that EMH defenders rely upon to keep markets efficient. Rather, he thought they were more likely to ride a wave of irrational exuberance than to fight it. One reason is that it is risky to be a contrarian. “Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

Instead, Keynes thought that professional money managers were playing an intricate guessing game. He likened it to a common newspaper game “in which the competitors have to pick out the six prettiest faces from 100 photographs, the prize being awarded to the competitor whose choice most nearly corresponds to the average preferences of the competitors as a whole: so that each competitor has to pick, not those faces that he himself finds prettiest, but those that he thinks likeliest to catch the fancy of the other competitors, all of whom are looking at the problem from the same point of view . . . We have reached the third degree where we devote our intelligences to anticipating what average opinion expects the average opinion to be. And there are some,

I believe, who practise the fourth, fifth, and higher degrees.” I believe Keynes’s beauty-contest analogy remains an apt description of how financial markets work, as well as of the key role played by behavioural factors.


Autor: Richard Thaler- Continua aqui

24 fevereiro 2014

Multiplicador Keynesiano: evidências empíricas

Back in the 1980s, many commentators ridiculed as voodoo economics the extreme supply-side view that across-the-board cuts in income-tax rates might raise overall tax revenues. Now we have the extreme demand-side view that the so-called "multiplier" effect of government spending on economic output is greater than one -- Team Obama is reportedly using a number around 1.5.
To think about what this means, first assume that the multiplier was 1.0. In this case, an increase by one unit in government purchases and, thereby, in the aggregate demand for goods would lead to an increase by one unit in real gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, the added public goods are essentially free to society. If the government buys another airplane or bridge, the economy's total output expands by enough to create the airplane or bridge without requiring a cut in anyone's consumption or investment.
The explanation for this magic is that idle resources -- unemployed labor and capital -- are put to work to produce the added goods and services.
If the multiplier is greater than 1.0, as is apparently assumed by Team Obama, the process is even more wonderful. In this case, real GDP rises by more than the increase in government purchases. Thus, in addition to the free airplane or bridge, we also have more goods and services left over to raise private consumption or investment. In this scenario, the added government spending is a good idea even if the bridge goes to nowhere, or if public employees are just filling useless holes. Of course, if this mechanism is genuine, one might ask why the government should stop with only $1 trillion of added purchases.
What's the flaw? The theory (a simple Keynesian macroeconomic model) implicitly assumes that the government is better than the private market at marshaling idle resources to produce useful stuff. Unemployed labor and capital can be utilized at essentially zero social cost, but the private market is somehow unable to figure any of this out. In other words, there is something wrong with the price system.
What do the data show about multipliers? Because it is not easy to separate movements in government purchases from overall business fluctuations, the best evidence comes from large changes in military purchases that are driven by shifts in war and peace. A particularly good experiment is the massive expansion of U.S. defense expenditures during World War II. The usual Keynesian view is that the World War II fiscal expansion provided the stimulus that finally got us out of the Great Depression. Thus, I think that most macroeconomists would regard this case as a fair one for seeing whether a large multiplier ever exists.
I have estimated that World War II raised U.S. defense expenditures by $540 billion (1996 dollars) per year at the peak in 1943-44, amounting to 44% of real GDP. I also estimated that the war raised real GDP by $430 billion per year in 1943-44. Thus, the multiplier was 0.8 (430/540). The other way to put this is that the war lowered components of GDP aside from military purchases. The main declines were in private investment, nonmilitary parts of government purchases, and net exports -- personal consumer expenditure changed little. Wartime production siphoned off resources from other economic uses -- there was a dampener, rather than a multiplier.
We can consider similarly three other U.S. wartime experiences -- World War I, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War -- although the magnitudes of the added defense expenditures were much smaller in comparison to GDP. Combining the evidence with that of World War II (which gets a lot of the weight because the added government spending is so large in that case) yields an overall estimate of the multiplier of 0.8 -- the same value as before. (These estimates were published last year in my book, "Macroeconomics, a Modern Approach.")
There are reasons to believe that the war-based multiplier of 0.8 substantially overstates the multiplier that applies to peacetime government purchases. For one thing, people would expect the added wartime outlays to be partly temporary (so that consumer demand would not fall a lot). Second, the use of the military draft in wartime has a direct, coercive effect on total employment. Finally, the U.S. economy was already growing rapidly after 1933 (aside from the 1938 recession), and it is probably unfair to ascribe all of the rapid GDP growth from 1941 to 1945 to the added military outlays. In any event, when I attempted to estimate directly the multiplier associated with peacetime government purchases, I got a number insignificantly different from zero.

18 setembro 2013


Capitalismo é a espantosa crença de que o mais maldoso dos homens fará as mais maldosas coisas para o bem geral de todos.

Foto: A voice from te foothills