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Flow Toxicity and Liquidity in a High-frequency World

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Listed:
  • David Easley
  • Marcos M. López de Prado
  • Maureen O'Hara

Abstract

Order flow is toxic when it adversely selects market makers, who may be unaware they are providing liquidity at a loss. We present a new procedure to estimate flow toxicity based on volume imbalance and trade intensity (the VPIN toxicity metric). VPIN is updated in volume time, making it applicable to the high-frequency world, and it does not require the intermediate estimation of non-observable parameters or the application of numerical methods. It does require trades classified as buys or sells, and we develop a new bulk volume classification procedure that we argue is more useful in high-frequency markets than standard classification procedures. We show that the VPIN metric is a useful indicator of short-term, toxicity-induced volatility. The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • David Easley & Marcos M. López de Prado & Maureen O'Hara, 2012. "Flow Toxicity and Liquidity in a High-frequency World," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(5), pages 1457-1493.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:25:y:2012:i:5:p:1457-1493
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