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Financial power laws: Empirical evidence, models, and mechanism

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  • Lux, Thomas

Abstract

Financial markets (share markets, foreign exchange markets and others) are all characterized by a number of universal power laws. The most prominent example is the ubiquitous finding of a robust, approximately cubic power law characterizing the distribution of large returns. A similarly robust feature is long-range dependence in volatility (i.e., hyperbolic decline of its autocorrelation function). The recent literature adds temporal scaling of trading volume and multi-scaling of higher moments of returns. Increasing awareness of these properties has recently spurred attempts at theoretical explanations of the emergence of these key characteristics form the market process. In principle, different types of dynamic processes could be responsible for these power-laws. Examples to be found in the economics literature include multiplicative stochastic processes as well as dynamic processes with multiple equilibria. Though both types of dynamics are characterized by intermittent behavior which occasionally generates large bursts of activity, they can be based on fundamentally different perceptions of the trading process. The present chapter reviews both the analytical background of the power laws emerging from the above data generating mechanism as well as pertinent models proposed in the economics literature. --

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Paper provided by Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2006,12.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:5159

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Pelizzari & Frank Westerhoff, 2007. "Some Effects of Transaction Taxes Under Different Microstructures," Research Paper Series 212, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  2. Reitz, Stefan & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Stadtmann, Georg, 2012. "Nonlinear expectations in speculative markets – Evidence from the ECB survey of professional forecasters," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1349-1363.
  3. Fabio Tramontana & Laura Gardini & Frank Westerhoff, 2011. "Heterogeneous Speculators and Asset Price Dynamics: Further Results from a One-Dimensional Discontinuous Piecewise-Linear Map," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 329-347, October.

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