In Search of Liquidity: Block Trades in the Upstairs and Downstairs Markets
REVIEW OF FINANCIAL STUDIES, Vol. 10 No. 1
Posted: 16 Apr 1997
We analyze the ability of various market mechanisms to provide liquidity for large equity trades. Using data on 21,077 block transactions in Dow Jones stocks, we find that the 'downstairs' NYSE floor market is a significant source of liquidity. Although negotiation in the informal 'upstairs' market provides better execution than the downstairs market for large trades, these differences are economically small. We find, however, that upstairs markets are used by traders who can credibly signal that their trades are liquidity-motivated. Thus, upstairs markets allow trades that may not otherwise occur.
JEL Classification: G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation