Back from beyond the bid-ask spread: perspectives on liquidity
Research into the topic of liquidity has greatly benefited from the availability of data. Although bid-ask spreads were inaccessible to researchers, Roll (1984) provided a conceptual model that estimated the effective bid-ask prices from regular time series data, recorded on a daily or longer interval. Later data availability improved and researchers were able to address questions regarding the factors that influenced the spreads and the relationship between spreads and risk, return and liquidity. More recently transaction data have been used to measure the effective spread and researchers have been able to refine the concepts of liquidity to include the impact of transactions on price movements (Clayton and McKinnon, 2000) on a trade-by-trade analysis. This paper aims to use techniques that combine elements from all three approaches and, by studying US data over a relatively long time period, to throw light on earlier research as well as to reveal the changes in liquidity over the period controlling for extraneous factors such as market, age and size of REIT. It also reveals some comparable results for the UK market over the same period.