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Market Making with Costly Monitoring : An Analysis of the SOES Controversy

  • FOUCAULT, Thierry
  • RÖELL, Ailsa
  • SANDAS, Patrik

We develop a model of price formation in a dealership market where monitoring of the information flow requires costly effort. The result is imperfect monitoring, which creates profit opportunities for speculators who pick off "stale quotes". Externalities associated with monitoring give rise to multiple equilibria in which dealers earn strictly positive expected profits. We obtain various policy implications. A switch to automatic execution can improve or worsen spreads and price discovery depending on the specific equilibrium. A reduction in the minimum quoted depth tightens the spread but it reduces price efficiency. Our analysis is relevant for the SOES controversy given that speculators in our model behave as the real world SOES "bandits". Our model predicts that SOES bandits should trade in stocks with small spreads and that SOES bandit activity should widen the spread. We provide empirical evidence consistent with these predictions.

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File URL: http://www.hec.fr/var/fre/storage/original/application/8de5e66a6dc26bd3c127e464620a7a1d.pdf
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Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 702.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0702
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEC Paris, 78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex, France
Web page: http://www.hec.fr/

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  1. Harris, Jeffrey H. & Schultz, Paul H., 1998. "The trading profits of SOES bandits," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 39-62, October.
  2. Copeland, Thomas E & Galai, Dan, 1983. " Information Effects on the Bid-Ask Spread," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(5), pages 1457-69, December.
  3. Dennert, Jurgen, 1993. "Price Competition between Market Makers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 735-51, July.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J, et al, 1997. "Clustering and Competition in Asset Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 23-60, April.
  5. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  6. Kandel, Eugene & Marx, Leslie M., 1997. "Nasdaq market structure and spread patterns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 61-89, July.
  7. Kandel, Eugene & M. Marx, Leslie, 1999. "Odd-eighth avoidance as a defense against SOES bandits," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 85-102, January.
  8. Battalio, Robert H. & Hatch, Brian & Jennings, Robert, 1997. "SOES Trading and Market Volatility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 225-238, June.
  9. Michael J. Barclay & William G. Christie & Jeffrey H. Harris & Eugene Kandel & Paul H. Schultz, 1999. "Effects of Market Reform on the Trading Costs and Depths of Nasdaq Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(1), pages 1-34, 02.
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