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Execution Risk in High-Frequency Arbitrage

Roman Kozhan () and Wing Wah Tham ()
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Wing Wah Tham: Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Management Science, 2012, vol. 58, issue 11, 2131-2149

Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the role of execution risk in high-frequency trading through arbitrage strategies. We show that if rational agents face uncertainty about completing their arbitrage portfolios, then arbitrage is limited even in markets with perfect substitutes and convertibility. Using a simple model, we demonstrate that this risk arises from the crowding effect of competing arbitrageurs entering the same trade and inflicting negative externalities on each other. Our empirical results provide evidence that support the relevance of execution risk in high-frequency arbitrage. This paper was accepted by Wei Xiong, finance.

Keywords: execution risk; limit to arbitrage; liquidity; high-frequency trading strategies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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