Emh and Behavioral Finance

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Efficient Market Discussion and Understanding of Finance

As the 2013 Nobel Laureates in economic science, both of Eugene Fama, from the University of Chicago and Robert Shiller, from Yale University, have made famous contribution to the finance world. Even though their views toward market efficiency seem mutually contradictory, their theories has been highly valued by the finance academia as well as industry. This paper compares and contrasts the work of both of them and discusses how their work influence my understanding of finance.
Fama is known for his work in initiating and developing the “efficient market hypothesis (EMH).” In his paper, Fama defines “efficient market” as “a market in which prices always fully reflect available information” (Fama 1970). If prices did reflect all available information, trading rules and fundamental analysis would not help investors to constantly earn abnormal return. This proposition has been checked by others and himself in the following papers: "Random Walks in Stock Market Prices (Fama 1965)," and "Filter Rules and Stock Market Trading Profits" (Blume, Fama 1966). Stock prices react to new information so quickly that it is almost impossible to trade on that piece of new information and profit from it. Furthermore, investors cannot earn abnormal returns without taking more systematic risk. To address the different types of information that stock prices could reflect, Fama prosed three types of market efficiency: (1) strong-form, where prices reflect all private and public information; (2) semi-strong form, where prices reflect all public information; and (3) weak-form, where prices only reflect past public information (Fama 1970). Index funds, which did not even exist fouty years ago, are now very popular among investors. Its creation was a result of Fama’s notion that actively managed fund cannot beat the market. Fama’s…...

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