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: Suggested Citation