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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2017||Intermediation as Rent Extraction|
with Gregor Jarosch, Guido Menzio: w24171
We propose a theory of intermediation as rent extraction, and explore its implications for the extent of intermediation, welfare and policy. A frictional asset market is populated by agents who are heterogeneous with respect to their bargaining skills, as some can commit to take-it-or-leave-it offers and others cannot. In equilibrium, agents with commitment power act as intermediaries and those without act as final users. Agents with commitment trade on behalf of agents without commitment to extract more rents from third parties. If agents can invest in a commitment technology, there are multiple equilibria differing in the fraction of intermediaries. Equilibria with more intermediaries have lower welfare and any equilibrium with intermediation is inefficient. Intermediation grows as tradi...
|May 2017||Long Run Growth of Financial Technology|
with Laura Veldkamp: w23457
In most sectors, technological progress boosts efficiency. But financial technology and the associated data-intensive trading strategies have been blamed for market inefficiency. A key cause for concern is that better technology might induce traders to extract other's information from order flow data mining, rather than produce information themselves. Defenders of these new trading strategies argue that they provide liquidity by identifying uninformed orders and taking the other side of their trades. We adopt the lens of long-run growth to understand how improvements in financial technology shape information choices, trading strategies and market efficiency, as measured by price informativeness and market liquidity. We find that unbiased technological change can explain a market-wide shif...
|March 2017||The Emergence of Market Structure|
with Gregor Jarosch, Robert Shimer: w23234
What market structure emerges when market participants can choose the rate at which they contact others? We show that traders who choose a higher contact rate emerge as intermediaries, earning profits by taking asset positions that are misaligned with their preferences. Some of them, middlemen, are in constant contact with other traders and so pass on their position immediately. As search costs vanish, traders still make dispersed investments and trade occurs in intermediation chains, so the economy does not converge to a centralized market. When search costs are a differentiable function of the contact rate, the endogenous distribution of contact rates has no mass points. When the function is weakly convex, faster traders are misaligned more frequently than slower traders. When the func...