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The Drift Burst Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Kim Christensen

    () (Aarhus University and CREATES)

  • Roel Oomen

    () (Deutsche Bank AG (London) and London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Statistics)

  • Roberto Renò

    () (Department of Economics, University of Verona)

Abstract

The Drift Burst Hypothesis postulates the existence of short-lived locally explosive trends in the price paths of financial assets. The recent US equity and Treasury flash crashes can be viewed as two high profile manifestations of such dynamics, but we argue that drift bursts of varying magnitude are an expected and regular occurrence in financial markets that can arise through established mechanisms such as feedback trading. At a theoretical level, we show how to build drift bursts into the continuous-time Itô semi-martingale model in such a way that the fundamental arbitrage-free property is preserved. We then develop a non-parametric test statistic that allows for the identification of drift bursts from noisy high-frequency data. We apply this methodology to a comprehensive set of tick data and show that drift bursts form an integral part of the price dynamics across equities, fixed income, currencies and commodities. We find that the majority of identified drift bursts are accompanied by strong price reversals and these can therefore be regarded as “flash crashes” that span brief periods of severe market disruption without any material longer term price impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Kim Christensen & Roel Oomen & Roberto Renò, 2016. "The Drift Burst Hypothesis," CREATES Research Papers 2016-28, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2016-28
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/creates/rp/16/rp16_28.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francis X. Diebold & Georg Strasser, 2013. "On the Correlation Structure of Microstructure Noise: A Financial Economic Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1304-1337.
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    4. Heston, Steven L, 1993. "A Closed-Form Solution for Options with Stochastic Volatility with Applications to Bond and Currency Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 327-343.
    5. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Peter Reinhard Hansen & Asger Lunde & Neil Shephard, 2008. "Designing Realized Kernels to Measure the ex post Variation of Equity Prices in the Presence of Noise," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1481-1536, November.
    6. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Dobrev, Dobrislav, 2007. "No-arbitrage semi-martingale restrictions for continuous-time volatility models subject to leverage effects, jumps and i.i.d. noise: Theory and testable distributional implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 125-180, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Laurent & Shuping Shi, 2018. "Volatility Estimation and Jump Detection for drift-diffusion Processes," AMSE Working Papers 1843, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    2. Angelo Ranaldo & Paolo Santucci de Magistris, 2018. "Trading Volume, Illiquidity and Commonalities in FX Markets," Working Papers on Finance 1823, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Oct 2019.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    flash crashes; drift bursts; volatility bursts; nonparametric statistics; reversals;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • C58 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Financial Econometrics

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