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Compensation schemes, liquidity provision, and asset prices: An experimental analysis

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  • Baghestanian, Sascha
  • Gortner, Paul
  • Massenot, Baptiste

Abstract

In an experimental setting in which investors can entrust their money to traders, we investigate how compensation schemes affect liquidity provision and asset prices. Investors face a trade-off between risk and return. At the benefit of a potentially higher return, they can entrust their money to a trader. However this investment is risky, as the trader might not be trustworthy. Alternatively, they can opt for a safe but low return. We study how subjects solve this trade-off when traders are either liable for losses or not, and when their bonuses are either capped or not. Limited liability introduces a conflict of interest because it makes traders value the asset more than investors. To limit losses, investors should thus restrict liquidity provision to force traders to trade at a lower price. By contrast, bonus caps make traders value the asset less than investors. This should encourage liquidity provision and decrease prices. In contrast to these predictions, we find that under limited liability investors contribute to asset price bubbles by increasing liquidity provision and that caps fail to tame bubbles. Overall, giving investors skin in the game fosters financial stability.

Suggested Citation

  • Baghestanian, Sascha & Gortner, Paul & Massenot, Baptiste, 2015. "Compensation schemes, liquidity provision, and asset prices: An experimental analysis," SAFE Working Paper Series 108, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:safewp:108
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:beexfi:v:13:y:2017:i:c:p:42-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nuzzo, Simone & Morone, Andrea, 2017. "Asset markets in the lab: A literature review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 42-50.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    compensation; liquidity; experimental asset markets; bubbles;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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