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A Stochastic Theory of Limit Order Transactions in Securities Markets


  • Edmund H. Mantell

    () (Professor of Finance and Economics, Lubin School of Business, Pace University)


The subject of this research paper is the same as the focus of criticisms in a recently released SEC report: namely, failures to display and execute limit orders in securities markets. Based on a statistical sample, the SEC study found frequent violations of limit order display rules. How pervasive are these kinds of violations in the market ?The theory in the paper addresses the question by identifying the probability density functions governing the display and execution of limit orders in properly functioning markets. The paper demonstrates that two distinct stochastic processes are sufficient to completely describe the execution of limit orders in markets: a conditional Binomial distribution compounded with a conditional Poisson distribution. These distributions permit rigorous tests of the statistical significance of the SEC sample findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Edmund H. Mantell, 2002. "A Stochastic Theory of Limit Order Transactions in Securities Markets," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 3(1), pages 149-167, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:journl:y:2002:v:3:i:1:p:149-167

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Burton Hollifield & Robert A. Miller & Patrik Sandås, 2004. "Empirical Analysis of Limit Order Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1063.
    2. Dutta, Prajit K & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. " Competition and Collusion in Dealer Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 245-276, March.
    3. Glosten, Lawrence R, 1994. " Is the Electronic Open Limit Order Book Inevitable?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1127-1161, September.
    4. Cohen, Kalman J & Conroy, Robert M, 1990. "An Empirical Study of the Effect of Rule 19c-3," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 277-305, April.
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    More about this item


    Limit order executions; SEC limit order study;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage


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