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Market Makers' Supply and Pricing of Financial Market Liquidity

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  • Shen, Pu
  • Starr, Ross M.
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    Abstract

    This study models the bid-ask spread in financial markets as a function of asset price variability and order flow. The market-maker is characterized as passively accepting orders to buy and to sell a security at the market's prevailing price (plus or minus half the bid-ask spread). The bid-ask spread adjusts to cover market-makers' average costs. The bid-ask spread then varies positively with: the security's price volatility, the volatility of order flow, and the absolute value of the market-maker's net inventory position. Each of these variables increases average cost and hence is priced in the bid-ask spread. Thus market liquidity (varying inversely with the bid-ask spread) declines with increasing price and volume volatility and with increasing size of market-maker net inventory positions. The model hence provides a particularly simple explanation for declining market liquidity during periods of large price movements and trading imbalances that increase the size of market-makers' net inventory.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC San Diego in its series University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt69f9h5bz.

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    Date of creation: 02 Nov 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsdec:qt69f9h5bz

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    Keywords: bid-ask spread;

    References

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    1. O'Hara, Maureen & Oldfield, George S., 1986. "The Microeconomics of Market Making," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(04), pages 361-376, December.
    2. Thomas Ho & Hans Stoll, . "Optimal Dealer Pricing Under Transactions and Return Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 27-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    3. Garman, Mark B., 1976. "Market microstructure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-275, June.
    4. Hans R. Stoll, . "The Supply of Dealer Services in Securities Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 2-78, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    5. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1980. "Dealership market : Market-making with inventory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 31-53, March.
    6. Madhavan, Ananth, 2000. "Market microstructure: A survey," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 205-258, August.
    7. Hasabrouck, Joel & Sofianos, George, 1993. " The Trades of Market Makers: An Empirical Analysis of NYSE Specialists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1565-93, December.
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