Welcome to CEPR's User Portal.

DP4806 | Macroeconomic Order Flows: Explaining Equity and Exchange Rate Returns

Publication Date


JEL Code(s)


Programme Area(s)



Macroeconomic models of equity returns perform poorly. The proportion of daily index returns that these models explain is essentially zero. Instead of relying on macroeconomic determinants, our model includes a concept from microstructure order flow. Order flow is the proximate determinant of price in all microstructure models. We explain aggregate equity returns as well as exchange rates in a model with heterogenous beliefs. Belief changes are shown to be observable through order flow. To test the model we construct daily aggregate order flow data from all equity trades in the U.S. and France from 1999 to 2003. Almost 60% of the daily returns in the S&P100 index are explained jointly by exchange rate returns and macroeconomic order flows.