We develop a stochastic model of nonsynchronous asset prices based on sampling with random censoring. In addition to generalizing existing models of nontrading, our framework allows the explicit calculation of the effects of infrequent trading on the time series properties of asset returns. These are empirically testable implications for the variance, autocorrelations, and cross-autocorrelations of returns to individual stocks as well as to portfolios. We construct estimators to quantify the magnitude of nontrading effects in commonly used stock returns data bases, and show the extent to which this phenomenon is responsible for the recent rejections of the random walk hypothesis.
Stock Market Prices Do Not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test
In this article we test the random walk hypothesis for weekly stock market returns by comparing variance estimators derived from data sampled at difference frequencies. The random walk model is strongly rejected for the entire sample period (1962-1985) and for all subperiods for a variety of aggregate returns indexes and size-sorted portfolios. Although the rejections are due largely to behavior of small stocks, they cannot be attributed completely to the effects of infrequent trading or time-varying volatilities. Moreover, the rejection of the random walk for weekly returns does not support a mean-reverting model of asset prices.