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How Often to Sample a Continuous-Time Process in the Presence of Market Microstructure Noise

Author

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  • Yacine Ait-Sahalia
  • Per A. Mykland

Abstract

Classical statistics suggest that for inference purposes one should always use as much data as is available. We study how the presence of market microstructure noise in high-frequency financial data can change that result. We show that the optimal sampling frequency at which to estimate the parameters of a discretely sampled continuous-time model can be finite when the observations are contaminated by market microstructure effects. We then address the question of what to do about the presence of the noise. We show that modelling the noise term explicitly restores the first order statistical effect that sampling as often as possible is optimal. But, more surprisingly, we also demonstrate that this is true even if one misspecifies the assumed distribution of the noise term. Not only is it still optimal to sample as often as possible, but the estimator has the same variance as if the noise distribution had been correctly specified, implying that attempts to incorporate the noise into the analysis cannot do more harm than good. Finally, we study the same questions when the observations are sampled at random time intervals, which are an essential feature of transaction-level data.

Suggested Citation

  • Yacine Ait-Sahalia & Per A. Mykland, 2003. "How Often to Sample a Continuous-Time Process in the Presence of Market Microstructure Noise," NBER Working Papers 9611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yacine Ait--Sahalia & Per A. Mykland, 2003. "The Effects of Random and Discrete Sampling when Estimating Continuous--Time Diffusions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 483-549, March.
    2. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Nonparametric Pricing of Interest Rate Derivative Securities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 527-560, May.
    3. Federico M. Bandi & Peter C. B. Phillips, 2003. "Fully Nonparametric Estimation of Scalar Diffusion Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 241-283, January.
    4. Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen & Shephard, 2002. "Econometric analysis of realized volatility and its use in estimating stochastic volatility models," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 64(2), pages 253-280.
    5. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
    6. Neil Shephard, 2005. "Stochastic Volatility," Economics Papers 2005-W17, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    7. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Paul Labys, 2003. "Modeling and Forecasting Realized Volatility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 579-625, March.
    8. Madhavan, Ananth & Richardson, Matthew & Roomans, Mark, 1997. "Why Do Security Prices Change? A Transaction-Level Analysis of NYSE Stocks," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 1035-1064.
    9. Hansen, Lars Peter & Scheinkman, Jose Alexandre, 1995. "Back to the Future: Generating Moment Implications for Continuous-Time Markov Processes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 767-804, July.
    10. Merton, Robert C., 1980. "On estimating the expected return on the market : An exploratory investigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 323-361, December.
    11. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes

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