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Financial Intermediation and the Role of Price Discrimination in a Two-Tier Market

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Reitz
  • Markus A. Schmidt
  • Mark P. Taylor

Abstract

Though unambiguously outperforming all other financial markets in terms of liquidity, foreign exchange trading is still performed in opaque and decentralized markets. In particular, the two-tier market structure consisting of a customer segment and an interdealer segment to which only market makers have access gives rise to the possibility of price discrimination. We provide a theoretical foreign exchange pricing model that accounts for market power considerations and analyze a database of the trades of a German market maker and his cross section of end-user customers. We find that the market maker generally exerts low bargaining power vis-á-vis his customers. The dealer earns lower average spreads on trades with financial customers than commercial customers, even though the former are perceived to convey exchange-rate-relevant information. From this perspective, it appears that market makers provide interdealer market liquidity to end-user customers with cross-sectionally differing spreads

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Reitz & Markus A. Schmidt & Mark P. Taylor, 2012. "Financial Intermediation and the Role of Price Discrimination in a Two-Tier Market," Kiel Working Papers 1794, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1794
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Exchange; Market Mictrostructure; Pricing Behavior;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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