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Market Liquidity: Theory, Evidence and Policy


  • Thierry Foucault

    () (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Marco Pagano
  • Ailsa Röell


The way in which securities are traded is very different from the idealized picture of a frictionless and self-equilibrating market offered by the typical finance textbook. Market Liquidity offers a more accurate and authoritative take on liquidity and price discovery. The authors start from the assumption that not everyone is present at all times simultaneously on the market, and that even the limited number of participants who are have quite diverse information about the security's fundamentals. As a result, the order flow is a complex mix of information and noise, and a consensus price only emerges gradually over time as the trading process evolves and the participants interpret the actions of other traders. Thus a security's actual transaction price may deviate from its fundamental value, as it would be assessed by a fully informed set of investors. This book takes these deviations seriously, and explains why and how they emerge in the trading process and are eventually eliminated. The authors draw on a vast body of theoretical insights and empirical findings on security price formation that have accumulated in the last thirty years, and have come to form a well-defined field within financial economics known as "market microstructure." Focusing on liquidity and price discovery, they analyze the tension between the two, pointing out that when price-relevant information reaches the market through trading pressure rather than through a public announcement, liquidity suffers. The book also confronts many puzzling phenomena in securities markets and uses the analytical tools and empirical methods of market microstructure to understand them. These include issues such as why liquidity changes over time, why large trades move prices up or down, and why these price changes are subsequently reversed, why we see concentration of securities trading, why some traders willingly disclose their intended trades while others hide them, and why we observe temporary deviations from arbitrage prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Foucault & Marco Pagano & Ailsa Röell, 2013. "Market Liquidity: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Post-Print hal-00793694, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00793694
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Havran, Dániel & Váradi, Kata, 2016. "A limitáras ajánlatok szerkezete és dinamikája a Budapesti Értéktőzsdén. Az OTP- és a Mol-részvények esete
      [The structure and dynamics of limit orders on the Budapest stock exchange: The cases of O
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(9), pages 966-992.
    2. Cespa, Giovanni & Vives, Xavier, 2011. "Expectations, Liquidity, and Short-term Trading," CEPR Discussion Papers 8303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. IKEDA Shin Suke, 2017. "Illiquidity in the Japan Electric Power Exchange," Discussion papers 17122, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    4. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:32:y:2017:i:90:p:175-219. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano & Ricardo Reis & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Dimitri Vayanos, 2017. "ESBies: safety in the tranches," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(90), pages 175-219.
    6. Miriello, Caterina & Polo, Michele, 2015. "The development of gas hubs in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 177-190.
    7. M. Frömmel & F Van Gysegem, 2014. "Bid-Ask Spread Components on the Foreign Exchange Market: Quantifying the Risk Component," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/878, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    8. Gehrig, Thomas & Haas, Marlene, 2014. "Lehman Brothers: What Did Markets Know?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Moinas, Sophie & Nguyen, Minh & Valente, Giorgio, 2017. "Funding Constraints and Market Illiquidity in the European Treasury Bond Market," TSE Working Papers 17-814, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Xiaohong Chen & Oliver Linton & Stefan Schneeberger & Yanping Yi, 2016. "Simple Nonparametric Estimators for the Bid-Ask Spread in the Roll Model," CeMMAP working papers CWP12/16, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. Alexandridis, G. & Sahoo, S. & Visvikis, I., 2017. "Economic information transmissions and liquidity between shipping markets: New evidence from freight derivatives," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 82-104.
    12. Filip Zikes, 2017. "Measuring Transaction Costs in the Absence of Timestamps," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-045, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Cheung, William Mingyan & Chung, Richard & Fung, Scott, 2015. "The effects of stock liquidity on firm value and corporate governance: Endogeneity and the REIT experiment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 211-231.
    14. Foucault, Thierry & Moinas, Sophie, 2018. "Is Trading Fast Dangerous?," TSE Working Papers 18-881, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    15. repec:eee:finsta:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:297-310 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Valseth, Siri, 2016. "Informed trading in Hybrid Bond Markets," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2016/13, University of Stavanger.
    17. Mathias Pohl & Alexander Ristig & Walter Schachermayer & Ludovic Tangpi, 2017. "The amazing power of dimensional analysis: Quantifying market impact," Papers 1702.05434,, revised Sep 2017.
    18. Comerton-Forde, Carole & Jones, Charles M. & Putniņš, Tālis J., 2016. "Shorting at close range: A tale of two types," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 546-568.
    19. repec:eee:jbfina:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:21-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Stefan Arping, 2015. "Banks and Market Liquidity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-020/IV, Tinbergen Institute.
    21. Gehrig, Thomas & Haas, Marlene, 2016. "Anomalous Trading Prior to Lehman Brothers' Failure," CEPR Discussion Papers 11194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Daniel Havran & Kata Varadi, 2015. "Price Impact and the Recovery of the Limit Order Book: Why Should We Care About Informed Liquidity Providers?," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1540, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    23. Lilian de Menezes & Marianna Russo & Giovanni Urga, 2016. "Identifying Drivers of Liquidity in the NBP Month-ahead Market," EcoMod2016 9570, EcoMod.

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