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Estimating the probability of informed trading--does trade misclassification matter?

  • Boehmer, Ekkehart
  • Grammig, Joachim
  • Theissen, Erik

Easley / Kiefer / O'Hara / Paperman (1996) (EKOP) have proposed an empirical methodology that allows to estimate the probability of informed trading and that has subsequently been used to address a wide range of issues in market microstructure. The data needed for estimation is the number of buyer- and seller-initiated trades. This information often has to be inferred by applying trade classification algorithms like the one proposed by Lee / Ready (1991). These algorithms are known to be inaccurate. In this paper we perform extensive simulations to show that inaccurate trade classification leads to biased estimation of the probability of informed trading when applying the EKOP methodology. The estimate is biased downward and the magnitude of the bias is related to the trading intensity of the stock in question. Scrutinizing prior empirical studies using the EKOP methodology, we conclude that the bias may severely affect the results of empirical microstructure studies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Markets.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 26-47

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Handle: RePEc:eee:finmar:v:10:y:2007:i:1:p:26-47
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  1. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen & Saar, Gideon, 2001. "How Stock Splits Affect Trading: A Microstructure Approach," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 25-51, March.
  2. David Easley & Soeren Hvidkjaer & Maureen O'Hara, 2002. "Is Information Risk a Determinant of Asset Returns?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2185-2221, October.
  3. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-46, June.
  4. Finucane, Thomas J., 2000. "A Direct Test of Methods for Inferring Trade Direction from Intra-Day Data," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 553-576, December.
  5. Grammig, J. & Schiereck, D. & Theissen, E., 2001. "Knowing Me, Knowing You: Trader Anonymity and Informed Trading in Parallel Markets," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 35288, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  6. Lee, Charles M. C. & Radhakrishna, Balkrishna, 2000. "Inferring investor behavior: Evidence from TORQ data," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 83-111, May.
  7. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1992. " Time and the Process of Security Price Adjustment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 576-605, June.
  8. Theissen, Erik, 2001. "A test of the accuracy of the Lee/Ready trade classification algorithm," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 147-165, June.
  9. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen & Paperman, Joseph, 1998. "Financial analysts and information-based trade," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 175-201, August.
  10. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1987. "Price, trade size, and information in securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 69-90, September.
  11. Odders-White, Elizabeth R., 2000. "On the occurrence and consequences of inaccurate trade classification," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 259-286, August.
  12. Easley, David & Kiefer, Nicholas M & O'Hara, Maureen, 1996. " Cream-Skimming or Profit-Sharing? The Curious Role of Purchased Order Flow," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(3), pages 811-33, July.
  13. Easley, David, et al, 1996. " Liquidity, Information, and Infrequently Traded Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1405-36, September.
  14. Ellis, Katrina & Michaely, Roni & O'Hara, Maureen, 2000. "The Accuracy of Trade Classification Rules: Evidence from Nasdaq," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 529-551, December.
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