The main objective of this 2002 book is to show that behind the bewildering diversity of historical speculative episodes it is possible to find hidden regularities, thus preparing the way for a unified theory of market speculation. 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. Investors are assumed to exhibit the same basic behavior during speculative episodes whether they trade stocks, real estate, or postage stamps. The author demonstrates how some of the basic concepts of dynamical system theory, such as the tions of impulse response, reaction times and frequency analysis, play an instrumental role in describing and predicting speculative behavior. This book will serve as a useful introduction for students of ecophysics, and readers with a general interest in ecomics as seen from the perspective of physics.
A theoretical physicist by education, Dr Bertrand M. Roehner has been investigating social and economic phenomena during the past 15 years. He is the author of Theory of Markets (1995) which explored the space-time structure of commodity prices, and also of Hidden Collective Factors in Speculative Trading (2001). The approach used in these books demonstrates how the observational strategy invented by physicists and successfully applied in astrophysics and biophysics, can be fruitfully applied in the social sciences as well. Professor Roehner has been a visiting scholar at the Harvard Department of Economics (1994 and 1998) and at the Copenhagen Institute of Economics (1996); and he currently serves on the physics faculty of the University of Paris VII.