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Information Revelation and Market Incompleteness

  • Jose Marin
  • Rohit Rahi

This paper introduces a theory of market incompleteness based on the information transmission role of prices and its adverse impact on the provision of insurance in financial markets. We analyse a simple security design model in which the number and payoff of securities are endogenous. Agents have rational expectations and differ in information, endowments, and attitudes toward risk. When markets are incomplete, equilibrium prices are typically partially revealing, while full relevation is attained with complete markets. The optimality of complete or incomplete markets depends on whether the adverse selection effect (the unwillingness of agents to trade risks when they are informationally disadvantaged) is stronger or weaker than the Hirshleifer effect (the impossibility of trading risks that have already been resolved), as new securities are issued and prices reveal more information. When the Hirshleifer effect dominates, an incomplete set of securities is preferred by all agents, and generates a higher volume of trade. Copyright 2000 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited

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Paper provided by Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics in its series Archive Working Papers with number 024.

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Date of creation: Aug 1996
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkifr:024
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  1. Bhattacharya Utpal & Reny Philip J. & Spiegel Matthew, 1995. "Destructive Interference in an Imperfectly Competitive Multi-Security Market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 136-170, February.
  2. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1990. "Incomplete Markets and Incentives to Set Up an Options Exchange*," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 15(1), pages 17-46, March.
  3. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1991. "Arbitrage, Short Sales, and Financial Innovation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1041-68, July.
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