IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A dynamic limit order market with fast and slow traders


  • Hoffmann, Peter


We study a dynamic limit order market where agents may invest into a trading technology that grants them a speed advantage over others. Being fast is valuable because it allows limit orders to be revised quickly in the light of new information and therefore reduces the risk of being picked off. Even though this can generate more trading, the equilibrium level of investment is excessive and always generates a welfare loss because fast traders exert negative externalities on slow agents and are able to extract any surplus. If the diffusion of trading technology additionally leads to a more efficient trading process, this result may reverse completely. For sufficiently large efficiency gains, fast traders exert positive externalities on slow market participants and their presence leads to an increase in social welfare, albeit the equilibrium level of investment is below the social optimum. Our results imply that the marginal impact of investments related to algorithmic and high-frequency trading on social welfare crucially depends on the pre-investment level of market efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Hoffmann, Peter, 2012. "A dynamic limit order market with fast and slow traders," MPRA Paper 39855, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39855

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thierry Foucault & Ailsa Röell & Patrik Sandås, 2003. "Market Making with Costly Monitoring: An Analysis of the SOES Controversy," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 345-384.
    2. Johannes A. Skjeltorp & Elvira Sojli & Wing Wah Tham, 2011. "Sunshine trading: Flashes of trading intent at the NASDAQ," Working Paper 2011/17, Norges Bank.
    3. Goettler, Ronald L. & Parlour, Christine A. & Rajan, Uday, 2009. "Informed traders and limit order markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 67-87, July.
    4. Jean-Edouard Colliard & Thierry Foucault, 2012. "Trading Fees and Efficiency in Limit Order Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(11), pages 3389-3421.
    5. Terrence Hendershott & Charles M. Jones & Albert J. Menkveld, 2011. "Does Algorithmic Trading Improve Liquidity?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 1-33, February.
    6. Garvey, Ryan & Wu, Fei, 2010. "Speed, distance, and electronic trading: New evidence on why location matters," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 367-396, November.
    7. Alain P. Chaboud & Benjamin Chiquoine & Erik Hjalmarsson & Clara Vega, 2009. "Rise of the machines: algorithmic trading in the foreign exchange market," International Finance Discussion Papers 980, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Álvaro Cartea & José Penalva, 2012. "Where is the Value in High Frequency Trading?," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(03), pages 1-46.
    9. Foucault, Thierry, 1999. "Order flow composition and trading costs in a dynamic limit order market1," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 99-134, May.
    10. Liu, Wai-Man, 2009. "Monitoring and limit order submission risks," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 107-141, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Menkveld, Albert J., 2013. "High frequency trading and the new market makers," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 712-740.
    2. Nidhi Aggarwal & Susan Thomas, 2014. "The causal impact of algorithmic trading on market quality," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-023, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.

    More about this item


    Algorithmic Trading; Limit Order Market; Welfare; Investment;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • G19 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Other
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39855. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.