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Suppose I define order flow imbalance as volume(aggress buy)/volume(aggress sell), or some variant of that.

Is this variable more, or less, correlated with price movements when I sample less frequently: 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day...?

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    $\begingroup$ Intuitively I would think it would have a bigger effect in the short term... but without empirical tests I don't know. $\endgroup$ – Alex C Feb 6 '16 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Alex: can you explain your intuition a little? $\endgroup$ – Slow Learner Feb 8 '16 at 4:20
  • $\begingroup$ I dunno. Philosophically I believe in the longer run (hours, days, weeks, months) prices are set by "information" in the Efficient Market theory sense, i.e. announcements, earnings, fundamentals, etc. Only in the very short run (hours, minutes, seconds) does the sheer weight of buying and selling have a direct mechanical effect on price. For ex. when there is a "fat finger error" the price gets clobbered but it soon returns to its normal level because the fundamentals haven't changed. Given enough time the arbitrageurs go to work and restore the equilibrium. $\endgroup$ – Alex C Feb 9 '16 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexC: I have the same intuition. I haven't confirmed that from a causal look at the data yet, but there are unfortunate issues with trade direction classification: they rely on price changes, the very thing I want to explain. Do you have ideas how to get around that? $\endgroup$ – Slow Learner Feb 9 '16 at 4:02

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