Market microstructure matters when imposing a Tobin tax—Evidence from the lab
Trading in FX markets is dominated by two microstructures: exchanges with market makers and OTC-markets without market makers. Using laboratory experiments we test whether the impact of a Tobin tax is different in these two market microstructures. We find that (i) in markets without market makers an unilaterally imposed Tobin tax (i.e. a tax haven exists) increases volatility. (ii) In contrast, in markets with market makers we observe a decrease in volatility in unilaterally taxed markets. (iii) An encompassing Tobin tax has no impact on volatility in either setting. Efficiency does not vary significantly across tax regimes.
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