Volatility Clustering and the Bid-Ask Spread: Exchange Rate Behavior in Early Renaissance Florence
25 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012
Date Written: April 13, 2004
This paper investigates the nature and behavior of the domestic (local) currency market that existed in Florence (Italy) during the late 14th and early 15th centuries (a.k.a. Early Renaissance). We find that the extant volatility and microstructure models developed for modern asset markets are able to describe the statistical volatility properties observed for the denaro-florin exchange rate. Volatility is clustered and is related to the bid-ask spread. This supports the notion that, although there are huge social, industrial and technological differences between capitalism then and now, individuals trading financial assets in an organized venue behave in a similar manner.
Keywords: Market microstructure, Asymmetric information, Volatility clustering, Early markets
JEL Classification: G10, N23, P12
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