The definition of time is still an open question when one deals with high-frequency time series. If time is simply the calendar time, prices can be modeled as continuous random processes and values resulting from transactions or given quotes are discrete samples of this underlying dynamics. On the contrary, if one takes the business time point of view, price dynamics is a discrete random process, and time is simply the ordering according to which prices are quoted in the market. In this paper, we suggest that the business time approach is perhaps a better way of modeling price dynamics than calendar time. This conclusion comes from testing probability densities and conditional variances predicted by the two models against the experimental ones. The data set we use contains the DEM/USD exchange quotes provided to us by Olsen & Associates during a period of one year from January to December 1998. In this period, 1,620,843 quotes entries in the EFX system were recorded. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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