Information Sales and Strategic Trading
Review of Financial Studies (2011) Vol. 24 (9), 3069-3104
53 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2008 Last revised: 13 Sep 2016
Date Written: February 17, 2011
We study information sales in financial markets with strategic risk-averse traders. The optimal selling mechanism is one of the following two: (i) sell to as many agents as possible very imprecise information; (ii) sell to a small number of agents information as precise as possible. As risk sharing considerations prevail over the negative effects of competition, the newsletters or rumors associated with (i) dominate the exclusivity contract in (ii). These allocations of information have distinct implications for price informativeness and trading volume, and thus our paper provides a direct link between properties of asset prices and financial intermediation. Moreover, as more information is sold when the externality in its valuation is relatively less intense, we find a ranking reversal of the informational content of prices between (a) market structures (market-orders vs. limit-orders), and (b) models of traders' behavior (imperfect vs. perfect competition).
Keywords: markets for information, imperfect competition, share auctions
JEL Classification: D82, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation