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Centralizing Over-the-Counter Markets?

Author

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  • Jason Allen
  • Milena Wittwer

Abstract

In traditional over-the-counter (OTC) markets, investors trade bilaterally through intermediaries referred to as dealers. An important regulatory question is whether to centralize OTC markets by shifting trades onto centralized platforms. We address this question in the context of the liquid Canadian government bond market. We document that dealers charge markups even in this market and show that there is a price gap between large investors who have access to a centralized platform and small investors who do not. We specify a model to quantify how much of this price gap is due to platform access and assess welfare effects. The model predicts that not all investors would use the platform even if platform access were universal. Nevertheless, the price gap would close by 32%–47%. Welfare would increase by 9%–30% because more trades are conducted by dealers who have high values to trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason Allen & Milena Wittwer, 2021. "Centralizing Over-the-Counter Markets?," Staff Working Papers 21-39, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:21-39
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    Cited by:

    1. Ari Kutai & Daniel Nathan & Milena Wittwer, 2024. "Exchanges for government bonds? Evidence during COVID-19," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2024.03, Bank of Israel.
    2. Abudy, Menachem (Meni) & Shust, Efrat, 2023. "Does market design contribute to market stability? Indications from a corporate bond exchange during the COVID-19 crisis," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    3. Jason Allen & Jakub Kastl & Milena Wittwer, 2020. "Maturity Composition and the Demand for Government Debt," Staff Working Papers 20-29, Bank of Canada.
    4. Coen, Jamie & Coen, Patrick, 2022. "A structural model of liquidity in over‑the‑counter markets," Bank of England working papers 979, Bank of England.
    5. Bruno Jullien & Alessandro Pavan & Marc Rysman, 2021. "Two-sided markets, pricing, and network effects," Post-Print hal-03828345, HAL.
    6. Kerssenfischer, Mark & Helmus, Caspar, 2024. "Outages in sovereign bond markets," Working Paper Series 2944, European Central Bank.
    7. Haoyang Liu & Zhaogang Song & James Vickery, 2021. "Defragmenting Markets: Evidence from Agency MBS," Working Papers 21-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    8. Rostek, Marzena, 2021. "Comments on “Regulation and security design in concentrated markets” by A. Babus and K. Hachem (2021)," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 152-154.
    9. Pinter, Gabor & Uslu, Semih, 2022. "Comparing search and intermediation frictions across markets," Bank of England working papers 974, Bank of England.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial institutions; Market structure and pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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