IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/arx/papers/0908.0111.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Statistical Signatures in Times of Panic: Markets as a Self-Organizing System

Author

Listed:
  • Lisa Borland

Abstract

We study properties of the cross-sectional distribution of returns. A significant anti-correlation between dispersion and cross-sectional kurtosis is found such that dispersion is high but kurtosis is low in panic times, and the opposite in normal times. The co-movement of stock returns also increases in panic times. We define a simple statistic $s$, the normalized sum of signs of returns on a given day, to capture the degree of correlation in the system. $s$ can be seen as the order parameter of the system because if $s= 0$ there is no correlation (a disordered state), whereas for $s \ne 0$ there is correlation among stocks (an ordered state). We make an analogy to non-equilibrium phase transitions and hypothesize that financial markets undergo self-organization when the external volatility perception rises above some critical value. Indeed, the distribution of $s$ is unimodal in normal times, shifting to bimodal in times of panic. This is consistent with a second order phase transition. Simulations of a joint stochastic process for stocks use a multi timescale process in the temporal direction and an equation for the order parameter $s$ for the dynamics of the cross-sectional correlation. Numerical results show good qualitative agreement with the stylized facts of real data, in both normal and panic times.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisa Borland, 2009. "Statistical Signatures in Times of Panic: Markets as a Self-Organizing System," Papers 0908.0111, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:0908.0111
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.0111
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Frederic Abergel & Nicolas Huth & Ioane Muni Toke, 2009. "Financial bubbles analysis with a cross-sectional estimator," Papers 0909.2885, arXiv.org.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:arx:papers:0908.0111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (arXiv administrators). General contact details of provider: http://arxiv.org/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.