Exchange-Traded Funds and Transparency in Over-the-Counter Markets
58 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2020 Last revised: 7 May 2023
Date Written: April 10, 2020
This paper explores a new channel through which exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can affect underlying asset prices. In over-the-counter markets, daily disclosure of ETF portfolio holdings increases pre-trade price transparency and thereby retail investors' bargaining power. I show that ETF-held municipal bonds have significantly lower dealer markups than observationally similar non-ETF-held bonds. This effect cannot be explained by selection or ETFs' own trading activity. Rather, ETF disclosure quality is associated with lower retail markups by up to 30 basis points. In the primary market, when municipalities have outstanding ETF-held bonds, their new issues have lower yields and smaller price dispersion.
Keywords: exchange-traded funds, market transparency, municipal bonds, price dispersion, OTC markets
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation