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Financial power laws: Empirical evidence, models, and mechanism

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  • Lux, Thomas

Abstract

Financial markets (share markets, foreign exchange markets and others) are all characterized by a number of universal power laws. The most prominent example is the ubiquitous finding of a robust, approximately cubic power law characterizing the distribution of large returns. A similarly robust feature is long-range dependence in volatility (i.e., hyperbolic decline of its autocorrelation function). The recent literature adds temporal scaling of trading volume and multi-scaling of higher moments of returns. Increasing awareness of these properties has recently spurred attempts at theoretical explanations of the emergence of these key characteristics form the market process. In principle, different types of dynamic processes could be responsible for these power-laws. Examples to be found in the economics literature include multiplicative stochastic processes as well as dynamic processes with multiple equilibria. Though both types of dynamics are characterized by intermittent behavior which occasionally generates large bursts of activity, they can be based on fundamentally different perceptions of the trading process. The present chapter reviews both the analytical background of the power laws emerging from the above data generating mechanism as well as pertinent models proposed in the economics literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Lux, Thomas, 2006. "Financial power laws: Empirical evidence, models, and mechanism," Economics Working Papers 2006-12, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:5159
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    Cited by:

    1. Reitz, Stefan & Rülke, Jan-Christoph & Stadtmann, Georg, 2012. "Nonlinear expectations in speculative markets – Evidence from the ECB survey of professional forecasters," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1349-1363.
    2. Adri'an Carro & Ra'ul Toral & Maxi San Miguel, 2015. "Markets, herding and response to external information," Papers 1506.03708, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2015.
    3. Pellizzari, Paolo & Westerhoff, Frank, 2009. "Some effects of transaction taxes under different microstructures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 850-863, December.
    4. Fabio Tramontana & Laura Gardini & Frank Westerhoff, 2011. "Heterogeneous Speculators and Asset Price Dynamics: Further Results from a One-Dimensional Discontinuous Piecewise-Linear Map," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 329-347, October.
    5. Ausloos, Marcel & Jovanovic, Franck & Schinckus, Christophe, 2016. "On the “usual” misunderstandings between econophysics and finance: Some clarifications on modelling approaches and efficient market hypothesis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 7-14.
    6. Jovanovic, Franck & Schinckus, Christophe, 2016. "Breaking down the barriers between econophysics and financial economics," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 256-266.
    7. Chiarella Carl & Di Guilmi Corrado, 2015. "The limit distribution of evolving strategies in financial markets," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(2), pages 137-159, April.
    8. Sabiou Inoua, 2015. "The Intrinsic Instability of Financial Markets," Papers 1508.02203, arXiv.org.
    9. Tae-Seok Jang, 2015. "Identification of Social Interaction Effects in Financial Data," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 207-238, February.

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