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Liquidity and congestion

  • Gara M. Afonso

This paper studies the relationship between the arrival of potential investors and market liquidity in a search-based model of asset trading. The entry of investors into a specific market causes two contradictory effects. First, it reduces trading costs, which then attracts new investors (the thick market externality effect). But second, as investors concentrate on one side of the market, the market becomes "congested," decreasing the returns to participating in this market and discouraging new investors from entering (what we call the congestion effect). The equilibrium level of market liquidity depends on which of the two effects dominates. When congestion is the leading effect, some interesting results arise. In particular, we find that diminishing trading costs in our market can impair liquidity and reduce welfare.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 349.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:349
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  1. Vayanos, Dimitri, 1998. "Transaction Costs and Asset Prices: A Dynamic Equilibrium Model," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(1), pages 1-58.
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  18. Acharya, Viral V & Pedersen, Lasse Heje, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Liquidity Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 4718, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1985. "Short-run Equilibrium Dynamics of Unemployment Vacancies, and Real Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 676-90, September.
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