The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Policymakers often express concern that herding by financial market participants destabilizes markets and increases the fragility of the financial system. This paper provides an overview of the recent theoretical and empirical research on herd behavior in financial markets. It addresses the following questions: What precisely do we mean by herding? What could be the causes of herd behavior? What success have existing studies had in identifying such behavior? And what effect does herding have on financial markets?