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Speculative trading with rational beliefs and endogenous uncertainty


This paper introduces the framework of rational beliefs of Kurz (1994), which makes the assumptions of heterogeneous beliefs of Harrison and Kreps (1978) and Morris (1996) more plausible. Agents hold diverse beliefs that are “rational” in the sense of being compatible with ample observed data. In a non-stationary environment the agents only learn about the stationary measure of observed data, but their beliefs can remain non-stationary and diverse. Speculative trading then stems from disagreements among traders. In a Markovian framework of dividends and beliefs, we obtain analytical results to show how the speculative premium depends on the extent of heterogeneity of beliefs. In addition, we demonstrate that there exists a unique Rational Belief Equilibrium (RBE) generically with endogenous uncertainty (as defined by Kurz and Wu, 1996) and that the RBE price is higher than the rational expectation equilibrium price (REE) under some general conditions

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Received: March 15, 2001; revised version: April 26, 2002


ID="*" We are deeply grateful to Mordecai Kurz for his constant encouragement and inspiring guidance over the years. We wish to express our gratitude to an anonymous referee for the very valuable comments provided. We also thank Kenneth Arrow, Peter Hammond, Roko Aliprantis and Nicholas Yannelis for their helpful suggestions and Academia Sinica and the National Science Council of the R.O.C. for their indispensable support.

Correspondence to: H.-M. Wu

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Wu, HM., Guo, WC. Speculative trading with rational beliefs and endogenous uncertainty. Econ Theory 21, 263–292 (2003).

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  • Keywords and Phrases: Speculation, Asset pricing, Rational beliefs, Endogenous uncertainty.
  • JEL Classification Numbers: D84, G12.