Testing for Market Microstructure Effects in Intraday Volatility: A Reassessment of the Tokyo FX Experiment
This paper develops mew robust inference procedures for analyzing the intraday return volatility patterns that constitute a focal point of much market microstructure theory. Our empirical analysis is motivated by the recent lifting of trading restrictions in the interbank foreign exchange (FX) market for Japanese banks during the Tokyo lunch period. Ito, Lyons, and Melvin (1998) (ILM) argue that this deregulation resulted in a highly significant shift in the volatility pattern across the entire Japanese trading day, indicating that private information is an important component of the price formation process in the FX market. In contrast, our robust analysis finds no evidence for any discernible change in the pattern outside of the Tokyo lunch period. Moreover, we document that the standard variance-ratio methodology inference in this high-frequency data context.