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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. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  2. Pierre-Olivier Weill & Dimitri Vayanos, 2005. "A Search-Based Theory of the On-the-Run Phenomenon," 2005 Meeting Papers 701, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  18. Darrell Duffie & Nicolae Gârleanu & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2007. "Valuation in Over-the-Counter Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(6), pages 1865-1900, November.
  19. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  20. Dimitri Vayanos & Tan Wang, 2004. "Search and endogenous concentration of liquidity in asset markets," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 455, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  22. Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2004. "Liquidity Premia in Dynamic Bargaining Markets," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 648, Econometric Society.
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