Living in a bubble? Toward a unified bubble theory

Yuval Nov, Oded Nov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We generalise the notion of a bubble beyond the financial domain, by showing how a single social mechanism, based on an information feedback-loop, explains both financial bubbles and other seemingly disparate social phenomena, such as the recognition of academic articles, website popularity, and the spread of rumours. We discuss examples of phenomena explained by this bubble mechanism, as well as other phenomena that exhibit certain bubble characteristics, yet are not bubbles according to our model. Finally, we present mathematical mechanisms for two phenomena that conform with our model, and show by computer simulation how they exhibit bubble behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-635
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of General Systems
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Bubble
  • Driving value
  • External value
  • Feedback loop
  • Fundamental value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Computer Science Applications


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