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.
We develop a new methodology to estimate the importance of herd behavior in financial markets: we build a structural model of informational herding that can be estimated with financial transaction data. In the model, rational herding arises because of information-event uncertainty. We estimate the model using data on a NYSE stock (Ashland Inc.) during 1995. Herding often arises and is particularly pervasive on some days. The proportion of herd buyers (sellers) is 2 percent (4 percent) and is greater than 10 percent in 7 percent (11 percent) of information-event days. Herding causes important informational inefficiencies, amounting, on average, to 4 percent of the expected asset value.