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Price Distortions in High-Frequency Markets

Author

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  • Steiner, Jakub
  • Stewart, Colin

Abstract

We study the effect of frequent trading opportunities and categorization on pricing of a risky asset. Frequent opportunities to trade can lead to large distortions in prices if some agents forecast future prices using a simplified model of the world that fails to distinguish between some states. In the limit as the period length vanishes, these distortions take a particular form: the price must be the same in any two states that a positive mass of agents categorize together. Price distortions therefore tend to be large when different agents categorize states in different ways, even if each individual’s categorization is not very coarse. Similar results hold if, instead of using a simplified model of the world, some agents overestimate the likelihood of small probability events, as in prospect theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Steiner, Jakub & Stewart, Colin, 2014. "Price Distortions in High-Frequency Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 9817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bianchi, Milo & Jehiel, Philippe, 2015. "Financial reporting and market efficiency with extrapolative investors," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 842-878.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bounded rationality; coarse reasoning; high-frequency trading; price formation;

    JEL classification:

    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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