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Competition between market-making Intermediaries

  • Simon Loertscher
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    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

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    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 515.

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    Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:515
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    1. 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.
    2. Spulber, Daniel F, 1996. "Market Making by Price-Setting Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 559-80, October.
    3. John Rust & George Hall, 2002. "Middlemen versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," NBER Working Papers 8883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Daniel F. Spulber, 1996. "Market Microstructure and Intermediation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 135-152, Summer.
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