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Market makers' supply and pricing of financial market liquidity

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  • Pu Shen
  • Ross M. Starr
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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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    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/Publicat/Reswkpap/PDF/rwp00-03.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number RWP 00-03.

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    Date of creation: 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp00-03

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    Related research

    Keywords: Financial markets ; Liquidity (Economics);

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. Ho, Thomas & Stoll, Hans R., 1981. "Optimal dealer pricing under transactions and return uncertainty," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 47-73, March.
    2. Hans R. Stoll, . "The Supply of Dealer Services in Securities Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 02-78, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    3. 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.
    4. Copeland, Thomas E & Galai, Dan, 1983. " Information Effects on the Bid-Ask Spread," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1457-69, December.
    5. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1987. "Price, trade size, and information in securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 69-90, September.
    6. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    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.
    8. Madhavan, Ananth, 2000. "Market microstructure: A survey," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 205-258, August.
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