Thierry FOUCAULT () and Jérôme DUGAST ()
Abstract: Speculators can discover whether a signal is true or false by processing it but this takes time. Hence they face a trade-off between trading fast on a signal (i.e., before processing it), at the risk of trading on a false positive, or trading after processing the signal, at the risk that prices already reflect their information. The number of speculators who choose to trade fast increases with news reliability and decreases with the cost of fast trading technologies. The authors derive testable implications for the effects of these variables on (i) the value of information, (ii) patterns in returns and trades, (iii) the frequency of price reversals in a stock, and (iv) informational efficiency. Cheaper fast trading technologies simultaneously raise informational efficiency and the frequency of "mini-flash crashes": large price movements that revert quickly.
58 pages, February 20, 2014
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