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Bid-Ask Spreads with Indirect Competition among Specialists

  • Gehrig, Thomas
  • Jackson, Matthew O.

We examine the bid-ask quotes offered by specialists (or dealers) who face indirect competition from other specialists who trade in related assets. In the context of a simple model where investors have mean variance preferences, we characterize the equilibrium bids and asks quoted by K specialists in N assets, where some specialists may control more than one asset. We compare the equilibrium spreads as the number (and factor structure) of the assets each specialist controls is varied. It is shown that for some constellations of initial portfolio holdings and asset covariance it is socially preferable to have competing specialists, while for others it is socially preferable to have their actions coordinated (or to have one specialist control several assets). In a simple factor model, we show how the optimal specialist control structure depends on whether the assets trade as substitutes or complements. In some situations it is beneficial to have specialist power concentrated within industries, in other situations, across industries, and in yet other situations, not to be concentrated at all.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1648.

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Date of creation: May 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1648
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  1. Dutta, Prajit K & Madhavan, Ananth, 1997. " Competition and Collusion in Dealer Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 245-76, March.
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  16. Thomas Ho & Hans Stoll, . "Optimal Dealer Pricing Under Transactions and Return Uncertainty," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 27-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  18. Hasabrouck, Joel & Sofianos, George, 1993. " The Trades of Market Makers: An Empirical Analysis of NYSE Specialists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1565-93, December.
  19. Bernhardt, Dan & Hughson, Eric, 1996. "Discrete Pricing and the Design of Dealership Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 148-182, October.
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