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Random walks, liquidity molasses and critical response in financial markets

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud
  • Julien Kockelkoren
  • Marc Potters

Abstract

Stock prices are observed to be random walks in time despite a strong, long-term memory in the signs of trades (buys or sells). Lillo and Farmer have recently suggested that these correlations are compensated by opposite long-ranged fluctuations in liquidity, with an otherwise permanent market impact, challenging the scenario proposed in Quantitative Finance, 2004, 4, 176, where the impact is instead transient, with a power-law decay in time. The exponent of this decay is precisely tuned to a critical value, ensuring simultaneously that prices are diffusive on long time scales and that the impact function is nearly lag independent. We provide new analysis of empirical data that confirm and make more precise our previous claims. We show that the power-law decay of the bare impact function comes both from an excess flow of limit order opposite to the market order flow, and to a systematic anti-correlation of the bid-ask motion between trades, two effects that create a 'liquidity molasses' which dampens market volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Julien Kockelkoren & Marc Potters, 2006. "Random walks, liquidity molasses and critical response in financial markets," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 115-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:quantf:v:6:y:2006:i:2:p:115-123
    DOI: 10.1080/14697680500397623
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Yuval Gefen & Marc Potters & Matthieu Wyart, 2003. "Fluctuations and response in financial markets: the subtle nature of `random' price changes," Papers cond-mat/0307332, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2003.
    2. Hasbrouck, Joel, 1991. " Measuring the Information Content of Stock Trades," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 179-207, March.
    3. Jean-Philippe Bouchaud & Yuval Gefen & Marc Potters & Matthieu Wyart, 2004. "Fluctuations and response in financial markets: the subtle nature of 'random' price changes," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 176-190.
    4. V. Plerou & P. Gopikrishnan & L. A. N. Amaral & M. Meyer & H. E. Stanley, 1999. "Scaling of the distribution of price fluctuations of individual companies," Papers cond-mat/9907161, arXiv.org.
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    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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