Asset prices, trading volumes, and investor welfare in markets with transaction costs
We investigate how an increase in transaction costs affect the equilibrium asset prices and allocations. We find a sufficient condition for an increase in transaction costs to increase buying prices, decrease selling prices, decrease the trading volume, and make all active traders worse off. The sufficient condition is met by a general class of utility functions, which contains all CARA utility functions and even some non-HARA utility functions. As for CRRA utility functions, the class contains all utility functions with CRRA coefficients less than or equal to one. We show that whenever there is an agent with a CRRA coefficient greater than one, an increase in transaction costs may well decrease buying prices and make buyers better off.
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