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Floor versus Screen Trading : Evidence from the German Stock Market

  • THEISSEN, Erik

The last decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in both the number and the market share of screen-based trading systems. Electronic trading systems do offer lower operating costs and the possiblilty of remote access to the market. On the other hand, arguments based on the anonymity of electronic trading systems suggest that adverse selection may be a more severe problem and that, therefore, bid-ask spreads may be higher. The present paper addresses the issue of transaction costs in floor and computerized trading systems empirically. In Germany, floor and screen trading for the same stocks exist in parallel. Both markets are liquid and operate simultaneously for several hours each day. An analysis of the bid-ask spreads reveals that the electronic trading system is relatively less attractive for less liquid stocks. The market shares of the competing systems reveal a similar pattern. The market share of the electronic trading system is negatively related to the total trading volume of the stock, is positively related to the difference between spreads on the floor and in the screen trading system and is at least partially negatively related to return volatility. We further document that spreads in the electronic trading system respond more heavily to changes in return volatility and that the adverse selection component of the spread is larger. We discuss implications our results have for the design of electronic trading systems.

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Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 690.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0690
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  1. Wang, Jianxin, 1999. "Asymmetric information and the bid-ask spread: an empirical comparison between automated order execution and open outcry auction," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 115-128, April.
  2. Ho, Thomas & Stoll, Hans R., 1981. "Optimal dealer pricing under transactions and return uncertainty," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 47-73, March.
  3. Blennerhassett, Michael & Bowman, Robert G., 1998. "A change in market microstructure: the switch to electronic screen trading on the New Zealand stock exchange," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 8(3-4), pages 261-276, December.
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  5. Grunbichler Andreas & Longstaff Francis A. & Schwartz Eduardo S., 1994. "Electronic Screen Trading and the Transmission of Information: An Empirical Examination," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 166-187, March.
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  7. Stoll, Hans R, 1989. " Inferring the Components of the Bid-Ask Spread: Theory and Empirical Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 115-34, March.
  8. Easley, David, et al, 1996. " Liquidity, Information, and Infrequently Traded Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1405-36, September.
  9. Frino, Alex & McInish, Thomas H. & Toner, Martin, 1998. "The liquidity of automated exchanges: new evidence from German Bund futures," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 8(3-4), pages 225-241, December.
  10. Franke, Gunter & Hess, Dieter, 2000. "Information diffusion in electronic and floor trading," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 455-478, December.
  11. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-46, June.
  12. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  13. Seppi, Duane J, 1990. " Equilibrium Block Trading and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(1), pages 73-94, March.
  14. Neal, Robert, 1992. "A Comparison of Transaction Costs between Competitive Market Maker and Specialist Market Structures," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(3), pages 317-34, July.
  15. Grammig, J. & Schiereck, D. & Theissen, E., 2000. "Informationsbasierter Aktienhandel über IBIS," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 35295, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  16. George, Thomas J & Kaul, Gautam & Nimalendran, M, 1991. "Estimation of the Bid-Ask Spread and Its Components: A New Approach," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(4), pages 623-56.
  17. French, Kenneth R. & Roll, Richard, 1986. "Stock return variances : The arrival of information and the reaction of traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 5-26, September.
  18. Huang, Roger D. & Stoll, Hans R., 1996. "Dealer versus auction markets: A paired comparison of execution costs on NASDAQ and the NYSE," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 313-357, July.
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