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Presidential Address: Liquidity and Price Discovery


  • Maureen O'Hara

    (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University)


This paper examines the implications of market microstructure for asset pricing. I argue that asset pricing ignores the central fact that asset prices evolve in markets. Markets provide liquidity and price discovery, and I argue that asset pricing models need to be recast in broader terms to incorporate the transactions costs of liquidity and the risks of price discovery. I argue that symmetric information-based asset pricing models do not work because they assume that the underlying problems of liquidity and price discovery have been solved. I develop an asymmetric information asset pricing model that incorporates these effects. Copyright (c) 2003 by the American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Maureen O'Hara, 2003. "Presidential Address: Liquidity and Price Discovery," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(4), pages 1335-1354, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:58:y:2003:i:4:p:1335-1354

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Repullo & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Venture Capital Finance: A Security Design Approach," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 8(1), pages 75-108.
    2. Georg Noeldeke & Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(4), pages 633-653, Winter.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    4. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1996. "The Use of Covenants: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Partnership Agreements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 463-498, October.
    5. Leslie M. Marx, 1998. "Efficient venture capital financing combining debt and equity," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 3(4), pages 371-387.
    6. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
    7. Klaus Schmidt, 1998. "Sequential Investments and Options to Own," CESifo Working Paper Series 160, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Green, Richard C., 1984. "Investment incentives, debt, and warrants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 115-136, March.
    9. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
    10. Cornelli, F. & Yosha, O., 1997. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Debt," Papers 23-97, Tel Aviv.
    11. Thomas Hellmann, 1998. "The Allocation of Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 57-76, Spring.
    12. Cornelli, Francesca & Yosha, Oved, 1997. "Stage Financing and the Role of Convertible Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 1735, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Berglof, Erik, 1994. "A Control Theory of Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 247-267, October.
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