IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Competition between market-making Intermediaries


  • Simon Loertscher


We introduce capacity constrained competition between market-making intermediaries in a model in which agents can choose between trading with intermediaries, joining a search market or remaining inactive. Recently, market-making by a monopolistic intermediary has been analyzed by Rust and Hall (2003) and Gehrig (1993). Market-makers set publicly observable ask and bid prices. Because market-making involves price setting, without further restrictions competition between market-making intermediaries is Bertrand-like and yields the Walrasian outcome, where the ask-bid spread is zero (Rust and Hall 2003, Gehrig 1993). However, positive ask-bid spreads and competition between market-makers can be observed in reality, e.g. in banking and in retailing. Following Kreps and Scheinkman (1983) and Boccard and Wauthy (2000), we therefore introduce physical capacity constraints. This allows for a gradual transition from monopolistic to perfectly competitive intermediation as the number of intermediaries increases. In particular, we show that given Cournot capacities, intermediaries will set Cournot bid and ask prices in the subsequent subgames, so that the equilibrium of the intermediated market coincides with the Walrasian equilibrium as the number of intermediaries becomes large

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Loertscher, 2004. "Competition between market-making Intermediaries," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 515, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:515

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Microstructure and Intermediation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 135-152, Summer.
    2. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Making by Price-Setting Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 559-580.
    3. John Rust & George Hall, 2003. "Middlemen versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-403, April.
    4. repec:rus:hseeco:72158 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stahl, Dale O, II, 1988. "Bertrand Competition for Inputs and Walrasian Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 189-201, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Market-making; capacity constrained competition; market microstructure;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:515. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.