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Bid-Ask Spreads, Volume, and Volatility: Evidence from Livestock Markets

  • Frank, Julieta
  • Garcia, Philip

Understanding the determinants of liquidity costs in agricultural futures markets is hampered by a need to use proxies for the bid-ask spread which are often biased, and by a failure to account for a jointly determined micro-market structure. We estimate liquidity costs and its determinants for the live cattle and hog futures markets using alternative liquidity cost estimators, intraday prices and micro-market information. Volume and volatility are simultaneously determined and significantly related to the bid-ask spread. Daily volume is negatively related to the spread while volatility and volume per transaction display positive relationships. Electronic trading has a significant competitive effect on liquidity costs, particularly in the live cattle market. Results are sensitive to the bid-ask spread measure, with a modified Bayesian method providing estimates most consistent with expectations and the competitive structure found in these markets.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49575
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49575.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49575
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  1. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Sanders, Dwight R. & Irwin, Scott H. & Merrin, Robert P., 2008. "The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets:Too Much of a Good Thing?," 2008 Conference, April 21-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri 37615, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
  3. Thompson, Sarahelen R. & Eales, James S. & Seibold, David, 1993. "Comparison Of Liquidity Costs Between The Kansas City And Chicago Wheat Futures Contracts," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 18(02), December.
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  5. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," CERT Discussion Papers 0706, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  6. Thompson, Sarahelen R. & Waller, Mark L., 1987. "The Execution Cost of Trading in Commodity Futures Markets," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 02.
  7. Thompson, S. & Waller, M.L., 1988. "Determinants Of Liquidity Costs In Commodity Furures Markets," Papers 172, Columbia - Center for Futures Markets.
  8. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  9. Cumby, Robert E & Huizinga, John, 1992. "Testing the Autocorrelation Structure of Disturbances in Ordinary Least Squares and Instrumental Variables Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 185-95, January.
  10. Henry Bryant & Michael Haigh, 2004. "Bid-ask spreads in commodity futures markets," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(13), pages 923-936.
  11. Hasbrouck, Joel, 2004. "Liquidity in the Futures Pits: Inferring Market Dynamics from Incomplete Data," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(02), pages 305-326, June.
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