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How Often to Sample a Continuous-Time Process in the Presence of Market Microstructure Noise

  • Yacine Aït-Sahalia

In theory, the sum of squares of log returns sampled at high frequency estimates their variance. When market microstructure noise is present but unaccounted for, however, we show that the optimal sampling frequency is finite and derives its closed-form expression. But even with optimal sampling, using say 5-min returns when transactions are recorded every second, a vast amount of data is discarded, in contradiction to basic statistical principles. We demonstrate that modeling the noise and using all the data is a better solution, even if one misspecifies the noise distribution. So the answer is: sample as often as possible. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal The Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 18 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 351-416

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:18:y:2005:i:2:p:351-416
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  1. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  2. Ananth Madhavan & Matthew Richardson & Mark Roomans, . "Why Do Security Prices Change? A Transaction-Level Analysis of NYSE Stocks," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  6. Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Per A. Mykland, 2002. "The Effects of Random and Discrete Sampling When Estimating Continuous-Time Diffusions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert C. Merton, 1980. "On Estimating the Expected Return on the Market: An Exploratory Investigation," NBER Working Papers 0444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Neil Shephard, 2000. "Econometric analysis of realised volatility and its use in estimating stochastic volatility models," Economics Papers 2001-W4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 05 Jul 2001.
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