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Patterns of Speculation: A Study in Observational Econophysics [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Bertrand M. Roehner

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14. Juli 2005
The main objective of this book is to show that behind the bewildering diversity of historical speculative episodes, it is possible to find hidden regularities. Speculative bubbles require the study of various episodes in order for a comparative perspective to be obtained and the analysis developed in this book follows a few simple but unconventional ideas. To that end, the author demonstrates how some of the basic concepts of dynamical system theory, such as the notions of impulse response, reaction times and frequency analysis, play an instrumental role in describing and predicting speculative behavior.


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'I shall not attempt to summarise here Roehner's proposal for a theoretical framework that would recognise a pattern in speculative bubble situations. Professionally involved readers, for whom this book is a must-read, can enjoy discovering it for themselves as much as I did.' Rudi Bogni, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'… a rewarding and worthwhile read. As an introduction to the subject it has much to offer on the way complex problems, not just in economics or econophysics, should be addressed.' R. Toumi and P. S. Wilson, Contemporary Physics

Über das Produkt

Patterns of Speculation, first published in 2002, shows how it is possible to find hidden regularities behind the bewildering diversity of historical speculative episodes, thus preparing the way for a unified theory of market speculation. A useful introduction for students of econophysics, giving an insight into economics as seen from the perspective of physics.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
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Johann Gregor Mendel was born in Hyncice, in what is now the Czech Republic, on July 22, 1822. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  3 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent, highly readable and disproves the myth! 1. März 2006
Von Gerald Davis - Veröffentlicht auf
Econophysics a relative, new and exciting field often (and justifiably?) suffers from bad press, as this definition taken from [...] points out:

"It is the application of the principles of mathematical physics to the study of financial markets. Experts are beginning to discover that the world economy behaves like a collection of electrons or a group of water molecules that interact with each other. With new tools of statistical analysis, like the recent breakthroughs in understanding chaotic systems, it is beginning to be possible to make sense of these hugely complicated systems (one year of the world's financial markets produces about 24 CD-ROMs' worth of data, so there's no shortage of material to number-crunch). As a result, specialists are addressing a variety of questions that are difficult or impossible to understand using conventional economic principles: Is the market random, or is there any underlying order? In particular, are there any long-term trends that can be foretold? Are financial crashes inevitable? Someone who is an expert in this arcane field is an econophysicist."

Here in lies its weakness, eoconphysics is percieved not only as mathematically, but also as conceptually non intutive and difficult for anyone but the the seasoned physicsist or mathematician who has had years of prior experience in statistics and mathematical physics in order to grasp both the qualitative and quantative flavor of the burgeoning filed!

Perhaps this was true until the advent of books like this, it is simple, straightforward approach not only captures the essence of the field but also provides useful history on the evolution of the field as a new sub discipline.

The text is remarkably readable and is accessible not only to graduate and undergraduate students in Physics and Economics but perhaps even to a good high school student with a working knowledge of statistics and calculus, with its focus on comparative emperical studies and the construction of models that reflect data as opposed to theory.

Each chapter presents plenty of data and the author at each step explains not only economically but alos physically what is occuring as he builds his models and explains his methods of analysis.

This is an excellent self contained book and a joy to read.
21 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Do you care about real estate prices? 4. November 2002
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In their book on game theory John von Neumann
and Oskar Morgenstern observe that it is the
study of "free fall which brought forth mechanics".
But, contrary to conventional wisdom, the study of
free fall did not rest solely on observing the
fall of an apple.
The author aptly notes that it required the observation
of a whole set of falling bodies in order to
get rid of a bunch of unessential factors and to
single out the influence of gravity. And of course
it required Newton's genius to include into this
set of falling bodies the "fall" of the moon.
In short, by describing in detail a single
stockmarket crash one will fail to understand what is
common to ALL stockmarket crashes. The author extends
the argument even further: by focusing solely on stock
markets one will fail to recognize what is common
to a broad variety of speculative episodes.
One might think that there
is a big difference between a price peak for postage
stamps and one for stock prices but this difference may
be more appearant than real as indeed
is the difference between the fall of an apple and that
of the moon.
What kind of results are brough about by this
unconventional approach?
At the present time (October 2002) we are particularly
interested in real estate prices. Will they continue to
rise, will they stabilize or are they going to fall in the
coming years?
The sections on real estate price peaks provide several
1) It is in the most expensive markets
(e.g. San Francisco as opposed to say Pittsburgh, PA) that
prices begin to rise first at the start of the
peak; it is in these markets that prices peak first
which gives a hint about when the downturn will occur in
other markets; and it is in expensive
places that the price increases are the strongest.
2) Price peaks for real estate resemble those for
stocks in that they are almost symmetrical with respect
to the maximum; which means that where prices experienced
strong increases, they also experience
big declines.
The last part of the book provides a theoretical framework.
It begins with an insightful chapter that points out that
there are in fact two classes of speculative peaks: the
U- and the S-class. The first includes all bulky commodities,
the second comprises real property, collector books,
diamonds, bonds and in a general way
all items for which transportation cost plays no
role and for which investors can (at negligible cost)
select the item that they want to buy.
The last chapters show how these effects can be accounted
for provided one uses a model which includes a memory effect.
This means that one should use a dynamical equation of order
at least equal to two. In addition,
a basic parameter
is the proportion of investors,i.e. people who buy in order
to sell with a profit within a few years, with respect
to the number of "users"
who buy a house in order to live in it for say
a generation.
A superb book. On almost every page, good ideas
come swirling and densily packed.
3.0 von 5 Sternen not up to date 22. September 2012
Von mommersjjm - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This book is very technical and has good information, but it is not up to date as it was written in 2002.
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