Optimal Microstructures

8 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2007

See all articles by Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O'Hara

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management


This paper considers the basic issue of the optimal microstructure for trading financial assets. I propose a framework for addressing optimality that draws on the functions that markets perform. These functions include liquidity, price discovery, and the reduction of uncertainty. Because the characteristics of financial assets and their investors differ, I show that their optimal microstructure may differ as well. I illustrate these points by analysing the evolution of corporate and municipal bond trading in the USA. The paper also discusses the particularly important role that microstructure plays for developing financial markets.

Suggested Citation

O'Hara, Maureen, Optimal Microstructures. European Financial Management, Vol. 13, No. 5, pp. 825-832, November 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-036X.2007.00398.x

Maureen O'Hara (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-3645 (Phone)
607-255-5993 (Fax)

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