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Private Information and Trade Timing

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  • Lones Smith

Abstract

This paper investigates the Bayesian decision-theoretic foundations of the Wall Street adage that `timing is everything'. One might think that a `small' risk-neutral trader wishes to act immediately upon any private information he possesses. I begin with a counterintuitive nding that trade timing doesn't matter for an Arrow security, as one's expected return per dollar invested is a martingale. This timing irrelevance discovery motivates an analysis of general compound securities. While timing there is ambiguous, I nd that natural monotone likelihood ratio assumptions on both private and public information restore the intuition that one should trade with all due dispatch.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1012-1018

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:4:p:1012-1018

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.4.1012
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  1. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  2. Athey, S, 1996. "Comparative Statics under Uncertainty : Single Crossing Properties and Log-Supermodularity," Working papers 96-22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Anat R. Admati, Paul Pfleiderer, 1988. "A Theory of Intraday Patterns: Volume and Price Variability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 3-40.
  4. Wang, Jiang, 1994. "A Model of Competitive Stock Trading Volume," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 127-68, February.
  5. Paul Milgrom & Nancy L.Stokey, 1979. "Information, Trade, and Common Knowledge," Discussion Papers 377R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Foster, F Douglas & Viswanathan, S, 1996. " Strategic Trading When Agents Forecast the Forecasts of Others," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1437-78, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Park, Andreas & Sgroi, Daniel, 2008. "Herding and Contrarianism in a Financial Trading Experiment with Endogenous Timing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 868, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Andreas Park, 2008. "Bid-Ask Spreads and Volume:The Role of Trade Timing," Working Papers tecipa-309, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Park, A. & Sgroi, D., 2009. "Herding, Contrarianism and Delay in Financial Market Trading," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0941, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Katya Malinova & Andreas Park, 2009. "Intraday Trading Patterns: The Role of Timing," Working Papers tecipa-365, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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