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Heterogeneity in Decentralized Asset Markets

Author

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  • Julien HUGONNIER

    (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Swiss Finance Institute)

  • Benjamin LESTER

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Pierre-Olivier WEILL

    (University of California, Los Angeles and NBER)

Abstract

We study a search and bargaining model of an asset market, where investors’ heterogeneous valuations for the asset are drawn from an arbitrary distribution. Our solution technique renders the analysis fully tractable and allows us to provide a full characterization of the equilibrium, in closed form, both in and out of steady state. We use this characterization for two purposes. First, we establish that the model can naturally account for a number of stylized facts that have been documented in empirical studies of over-the-counter asset markets. In particular, we show that heterogeneity among market participants implies that assets are reallocated through “intermediation chains,” ultimately producing a core-periphery trading network and non-trivial distributions of prices and trading times. Second, we show that the model generates a number of novel results that underscore the importance of heterogeneity in decentralized markets. We highlight two: first, heterogeneity magnifies the price impact of search frictions; and second, search frictions have larger effects on price levels than on price dispersion. Hence, quantifying the price discount or premium created by search frictions based on observed price dispersion can be misleading.

Suggested Citation

  • Julien HUGONNIER & Benjamin LESTER & Pierre-Olivier WEILL, 2014. "Heterogeneity in Decentralized Asset Markets," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 14-67, Swiss Finance Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chf:rpseri:rp1467
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Search frictions; bargaining; continuum of types; price dispersion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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