IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trading and Liquidity with Limited Cognition


  • Biais, Bruno
  • Hombert, Johan
  • Weill, Pierre-Olivier


We study the reaction of financial markets to aggregate liquidity shocks when traders face cognition limits. While each financial institution recovers from the shock at a random time, the trader representing the institution observes this recovery with a delay, reecting the time it takes to collect and process information about positions, counterparties and risk exposure. Cognition limits lengthen the recovery process. They also imply that traders who find their institution has not yet recovered from the shock place market sell orders, and then progressively buy back at relatively low prices, while simultaneously placing limit orders to sell later when the price will have recovered. This generates round trip trades, which raise trading volume. We compare the case where algorithms enable traders to implement this strategy to that where traders can only place orders when they have completed their information processing task.

Suggested Citation

  • Biais, Bruno & Hombert, Johan & Weill, Pierre-Olivier, 2010. "Trading and Liquidity with Limited Cognition," TSE Working Papers 10-242, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24591

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
    2. Thierry Foucault & Ohad Kadan & Eugene Kandel, 2005. "Limit Order Book as a Market for Liquidity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1171-1217.
    3. Antje Berndt & Rohan Douglas & Darrell Duffie & Mark Ferguson, "undated". "Measuring Default Risk Premia from Default Swap Rates and EDFs," GSIA Working Papers 2006-E31, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    4. Grossman, Sanford J & Miller, Merton H, 1988. " Liquidity and Market Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 617-637, July.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity-Premium Puzzle," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 257-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
    7. Ricardo Lagos & Guillaume Rocheteau, 2009. "Liquidity in Asset Markets With Search Frictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 403-426, March.
    8. Biais, Bruno & Hillion, Pierre & Spatt, Chester, 1995. " An Empirical Analysis of the Limit Order Book and the Order Flow in the Paris Bourse," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1655-1689, December.
    9. Darrell Duffie, 2012. "Over-The-Counter Markets," Introductory Chapters,in: Dark Markets: Asset Pricing and Information Transmission in Over-the-Counter Markets Princeton University Press.
    10. Parlour, Christine A, 1998. "Price Dynamics in Limit Order Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(4), pages 789-816.
    11. Ronald L. Goettler & Christine A. Parlour & Uday Rajan, 2005. "Equilibrium in a Dynamic Limit Order Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(5), pages 2149-2192, October.
    12. Carole Comerton-Forde & Terrence Hendershott & Charles M. Jones & Pamela C. Moulton & Mark S. Seasholes, 2010. "Time Variation in Liquidity: The Role of Market-Maker Inventories and Revenues," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(1), pages 295-331, February.
    13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, June.
    14. Coval, Joshua & Stafford, Erik, 2007. "Asset fire sales (and purchases) in equity markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 479-512, November.
    15. Pierre-Olivier Weill, 2007. "Leaning Against the Wind," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1329-1354.
    16. Ioanid Rosu, 2009. "A Dynamic Model of the Limit Order Book," Post-Print hal-00515873, HAL.
    17. 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.
    18. Greenwood, Robin, 2005. "Short- and long-term demand curves for stocks: theory and evidence on the dynamics of arbitrage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 607-649, March.
    19. Ellul, Andrew & Holden, Craig W. & Jain, Pankaj & Jennings, Robert, 2007. "Order dynamics: Recent evidence from the NYSE," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 636-661, December.
    20. Sun, Yeneng, 2006. "The exact law of large numbers via Fubini extension and characterization of insurable risks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 31-69, January.
    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. George J. Jiang & Ingrid Lo & Giorgio Valente, 2014. "High-Frequency Trading around Macroeconomic News Announcements: Evidence from the U.S. Treasury Market," Staff Working Papers 14-56, Bank of Canada.
    2. Dimitri Vayanos & Jiang Wang, 2012. "Market Liquidity - Theory and Empirical Evidence," FMG Discussion Papers dp709, Financial Markets Group.
    3. Vayanos, Dimitri & Wang, Jiang, 2013. "Market Liquidity—Theory and Empirical Evidence ," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    4. repec:eee:finmar:v:33:y:2017:i:c:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sarah Draus & Mark van Achter, 2012. "Circuit Breakers and Market Runs," CSEF Working Papers 313, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

    More about this item


    Liquidity shock; Limit-orders; Asset pricing and liquidity; Algorithmic trading; Limited cognition; Sticky plans;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

    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:tse:wpaper:24591. 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: (). 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.