Middlemen Interaction and Market Quality

40 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2012 Last revised: 6 Oct 2013

Date Written: August 27, 2013


Two frictions, arrival asynchronicity and information asymmetry, stand in the way of the efficient asset reallocation from a low-valuation seller to high-valuation buyers. Middlemen help alleviate these frictions 1) by helping connect the investors and 2) by generating market activity from which the uninformed seller can learn (imperfectly) about the true asset value. However, 3) given market activity, the seller's learning precision is impaired: She cannot distinguish the price pressure associated with an inter-middlemen trade from a fundamental value drop. Overall, additional middlemen improve social welfare only if there are abundant reselling opportunity. The paper speaks to recent disruptions in financial securities markets.

Keywords: middleman, learning, high-frequency trader, electronic market

JEL Classification: G10

Suggested Citation

Menkveld, Albert J. and Yueshen, Bart Zhou, Middlemen Interaction and Market Quality (August 27, 2013). Paris December 2012 Finance Meeting EUROFIDAI-AFFI Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2165269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2165269

Albert J. Menkveld

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
+31 20 5986130 (Phone)
+31 20 5986020 (Fax)

Bart Zhou Yueshen (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex

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