Predictability of Order Imbalance, Market Quality and Equity Cost of Capital
We study the effect of the predictability of order imbalance on market quality. We measure the degree of predictability by using the predictive likelihood from a dynamic linear model where the dependent variable is the day-ahead order imbalance. Empirically, we show that increasing order imbalance predictability corresponds to significantly higher market liquidity and efficiency. This positive relationship is economically significant: a long-short portfolio based on past predictability generates significant risk-adjusted returns. Predictability of order imbalance measures a cost of asymmetric information that is not captured by traditional measures of adverse selection. The risk factor that is associated with asymmetric information is priced in the cross-section of stock returns, controlling for a variety of conventional sources of systematic risk. These results suggest the existence of a tight link between market microstructure features affecting order imbalance predictability and both market quality and the cost of capital of firms.