Behavioral Finance Lecture 04: Far-from-equilibrium dynamics and the empirical failure of CAPM

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The CAPM and EMH stick to the neo­clas­si­cal script of believ­ing that the econ­o­my and finance mar­kets are sta­ble, at or near equi­lib­ri­um, and on this basis argue that “you can’t beat the mar­ket”. But there is an alter­na­tive view, far more aligned with the actu­al data, that says that mar­kets are chaot­ic, far from equi­lib­ri­um sys­tems, and for that rea­son it’s very hard to beat the mar­ket.

Eugene Fama was an enthu­si­as­tic pro­mot­er of CAPM and the Effi­cient Mar­kets Hypoth­e­sis, argu­ing that despite their absurd assump­tions, the data sup­port­ed the the­o­ries. But was this a fluke, the result of the nar­row data range he used–from 1950 till 1966?

He has since dis­owned the the­o­ry in 2004, stat­ing that “the the­o­ry has nev­er been an empir­i­cal suc­cess”, and that “most appli­ca­tions of the the­o­ry are invalid”. But some­how these hon­est state­ments don’t seem to have made it into the finance text­books.

Here are the Pow­er­point files for this lec­ture: Part 1; Part 2.

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About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.