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The Microstructure of Stock Markets


  • Biais, Bruno
  • Glosten, Larry
  • Spatt, Chester S


We survey the literature analysing the price formation and trading process, and the consequences of market organization for price discovery and welfare. We develop a united perspective on theoretical, empirical and experimental approaches. We discuss the evidence on transaction costs and the price impact of trades and its analyses in terms of adverse selection, inventory costs and market power. We review the extent to which the associated frictions can be mitigated by such features of market design as the degree of transparency, the use of call auctions, the discreteness of the pricing grid and the regulation of competition between liquidity suppliers or exchanges.

Suggested Citation

  • Biais, Bruno & Glosten, Larry & Spatt, Chester S, 2002. "The Microstructure of Stock Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 3288, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3288

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Décamps, Jean-Paul & Lovo, Stefano, 2003. "Market Informational Inefficiency, Risk Aversion and Quantity Grid," IDEI Working Papers 177, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. DESGRANGES, Gabriel & FOUCAULT, Thierry, 2000. "Reputation-based pricing and price improvements in dealership markets," Les Cahiers de Recherche 716, HEC Paris, revised 01 Mar 2002.
    3. Giovanni Petrella, 2010. "MiFID, Reg NMS and competition across trading venues in Europe and the USA," Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 18(3), pages 257-271, July.

    More about this item


    bid-ask spread; liquidity; market design; market microstructure; transactions costs;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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