Competing on Speed
New York University (NYU)- Stern School of Business Dept. of Finance
New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
April 27, 2012
Abstract Two forces have reshaped global securities markets: Exchanges operate at much faster speeds and the trading landscape has become more fragmented. In order to analyze the implications of these evolutions, we study a framework that captures (i) exchanges’ incentives to invest in faster platforms and (ii) investors’ trading and participation decisions. We find that speed competition reduces asset prices. Regulations that protect investors (e.g. SEC's trade-through) reduce prices further and lead to more fragmentation and faster speeds. Endogenizing speeds can also change the slope of asset demand curves. On normative side, for a given number of exchanges, speed investments are generally socially desirable. Competition among exchanges increases participation and welfare for a given trading speed, but is not necessarily desirable when speeds are endogenous. Our model sheds light on the experience of European and U.S. markets since the implementation of MiFID and Reg. NMS, and provides guidance for optimal regulations.
The appendices for this paper are available at the following URL: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2047536
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: liquidity, fragmentation, trading, exchanges, asset pricing, financial markets, high frequency trading, regulation, search, welfare
JEL Classification: G12, G15, G18, D40, D43, D61working papers series
Date posted: December 2, 2011 ; Last revised: May 1, 2012
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