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Cream Skimming in Financial Markets

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  • Patrick Bolton
  • Tano Santos
  • Jose A. Scheinkman

Abstract

We propose an equilibrium occupational choice model, where agents can choose to work in the real sector (become entrepreneurs) or to become informed dealers in financial markets. Agents incur costs to become informed dealers and develop skills for valuing assets up for trade. The financial sector comprises a transparent competitive exchange, where uninformed agents trade and an opaque over-the-counter (OTC) market, where informed dealers offer attractive terms for the most valuable assets entrepreneurs put up for sale. Thanks to their information advantage and valuation skills, dealers are able to provide incentives to entrepreneurs to originate good assets. However, the opaqueness of the OTC market allows dealers to extract informational rents from entrepreneurs. Trade in the OTC market imposes a negative externality on the organized exchange, where only the less valuable assets end up for trade. We show that in equilibrium the dealers' informational rents in the OTC market are too large and attract too much talent to the financial industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16804.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16804

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  1. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2008. "Liquidity in asset markets with search frictions," Staff Report 408, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Dimitri Vayanos & Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2006. "A Search-Based Theory of the On-the-Run Phenomenon," NBER Working Papers 12670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lagos, Ricardo & Rocheteau, Guillaume & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2011. "Crises and liquidity in over-the-counter markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2169-2205.
  4. Philippon, Thomas & Reshef, Ariell, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," CEPR Discussion Papers 7282, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gara M. Afonso, 2008. "Liquidity and congestion," Staff Reports 349, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Vincent Glode & Richard C. Green & Richard Lowery, 2012. "Financial Expertise as an Arms Race," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(5), pages 1723-1759, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Law, Siong Hook & Singh, Nirvikar, 2014. "Does too much finance harm economic growth?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 36-44.
  2. Thorsten Beck, 2013. "Finance, growth and fragility: the role of government," International Journal of Banking, Accounting and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(1/2), pages 49-77.
  3. Kneer, E.C., 2013. "Essays on the size of the financial aector, financial liberalization and growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5930486, Tilburg University.
  4. Gründler, Klaus & Weitzel, Jan, 2013. "The financial sector and economic growth in a panel of countries," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 123, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  5. Beck, Thorsten & Degryse, Hans & Kneer, Christiane, 2014. "Is more finance better? Disentangling intermediation and size effects of financial systems," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 10(C), pages 50-64.
  6. Beck, T.H.L. & Degryse, H.A. & Kneer, E.C., 2012. "Is More Finance Better? Disentangling Intermediation and Size Effects of Financial Systems," Discussion Paper 2012-060, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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