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Is market fragmentation harming market quality?

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  • O'Hara, Maureen
  • Ye, Mao

Abstract

We examine how fragmentation is affecting market quality in US equity markets. We use newly available trade reporting facilities (TRFs) data to measure fragmentation, and we use a variety of empirical approaches to compare execution quality and efficiency of stocks with more and less fragmented trading. We find that fragmentation affects all stocks; more fragmented stocks have lower transactions costs and faster execution speeds; and fragmentation is associated with higher short-term volatility but greater market efficiency, in that prices are closer to being a random walk. Our results that fragmentation does not appear to harm market quality are consistent with US markets being a single virtual market with multiple points of entry.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Hara, Maureen & Ye, Mao, 2011. "Is market fragmentation harming market quality?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 459-474, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:100:y:2011:i:3:p:459-474
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