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Market microstructure

In: Handbook of the Economics of Finance

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  • Stoll, Hans R.

Abstract

Market microstructure deals with the purest form of financial intermediation -- the trading of a financial asset, such as a stock or a bond. In a trading market, assets are not transformed but are simply transferred from one investor to another. The field of market microstructure studies the cost of trading securities and the impact of trading costs on the short-run behavior of securities prices. Costs are reflected in the bid-ask spread (and related measures) and in commissions. The focus of this chapter is on the determinants of the spread rather than on commissions. After an introduction to markets, traders and the trading process, I review the theory of the bid-ask spread in Section 3 and examine the implications of the spread for the short-run behavior of prices in Section 4. In Section 5, the empirical evidence on the magnitude and nature of trading costs is summarized, and inferences are drawn about the importance of various sources of the spread. Price impacts of trading from block trades, from herding or from other sources, are considered in Section 6. Issues in the design of a trading market, such as the functioning of call versus continuous markets and of dealer versus auction markets, are examined in Section 7. Even casual observers of markets have undoubtedly noted the surprising pace at which new trading markets are being established even as others merge. Section 8 briefly surveys recent developments in securities markets in the USA and considers the forces leading to centralization of trading in a single market versus the forces leading to multiple markets. Most of this chapter deals with the microstructure of equities markets. In Section 9, the microstructure of other markets is considered. Section 10 provides a brief discussion of the implications of microstructure for asset pricing. Section 11 concludes.

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This chapter was published in:

  • G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), 2003. "Handbook of the Economics of Finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of the Economics of Finance with number 1-09.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:finchp:1-09

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    Cited by:
    1. Kovner, Anna, 2012. "Do underwriters matter? The impact of the near failure of an equity underwriter," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 507-529.
    2. Edith Ginglinger & Jacques Hamon, 2007. "Actual share repurchases, timing and liquidity," Post-Print halshs-00136568, HAL.
    3. Willis, Geoff, 2011. "Why money trickles up – wealth & income distributions," MPRA Paper 30851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hamon, Jacques & Ginglinger, Edith, 2007. "Actual share repurchases, timing and liquidity," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/1748, Paris Dauphine University.
    5. Fong, Kingsley Y.L. & Liu, Wai-Man, 2010. "Limit order revisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1873-1885, August.
    6. Chung, Dennis Y. & Hrazdil, Karel, 2012. "Speed of convergence to market efficiency: The role of ECNs," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 702-720.
    7. Kervel, V.L. van, 2013. "Competition between stock exchanges and optimal trading," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5663709, Tilburg University.
    8. Gomber, Peter & Jäger, Benedikt, 2014. "MiFID: Eine systematische Analyse der Zielerreichung," SAFE White Paper Series 14, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    9. Loderer, Claudio & Roth, Lukas, 2005. "The pricing discount for limited liquidity: evidence from SWX Swiss Exchange and the Nasdaq," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 239-268, March.
    10. Anderson, Steve & Friedman, Daniel & Milam, Garrett & Singh, Nirvikar, 2004. "Buy it Now: A Hybrid Internet Market Institution," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt21d715v9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    11. Liu, Wai-Man, 2009. "Monitoring and limit order submission risks," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 107-141, February.
    12. Degryse, H.A. & Jong, F.C.J.M. de & Kervel, V.L. van, 2011. "The Impact of Dark and Visible Fragmentation on Market Quality (Replaces CentER Discussion Paper 2011-051)," Discussion Paper 2011-069, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    13. Chung, Huimin, 2006. "Investor protection and the liquidity of cross-listed securities: Evidence from the ADR market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1485-1505, May.
    14. Hamon, Jacques & Ginglinger, Edith, . "Ownership, control and market liquidity," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/2709, Paris Dauphine University.
    15. Trauten, Andreas, 2004. "Zur Effizienz von Wertpapieremissionen über Internetplattformen," Working Papers 8, Competence Center Internet Economy and Hybrid Systems, European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster.
    16. Kushankur Dey & Debasish Maitra, 2012. "Price discovery in Indian commodity futures market: an empirical exercise," International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1), pages 68-87.
    17. Bollen, Nicolas P. B. & Smith, Tom & Whaley, Robert E., 2004. "Modeling the bid/ask spread: measuring the inventory-holding premium," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 97-141, April.
    18. BEAUPAIN, Renaud & GIOT, Pierre & PETITJEAN, Mikael, 2006. "Market-wide liquidity co-movements, volatility regimes and market cap sizes," CORE Discussion Papers 2006102, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    19. Visaltanachoti, Nuttawat & Yang, Ting, 2010. "Speed of convergence to market efficiency for NYSE-listed foreign stocks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 594-605, March.

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