NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Benchmarks in Search Markets

Darrell Duffie, Piotr Dworczak, Haoxiang Zhu

NBER Working Paper No. 20620
Issued in October 2014, Revised in September 2016
NBER Program(s):Asset Pricing Program

We characterize the price-transparency role of benchmarks in over-the-counter markets. A benchmark can, under conditions, raise social surplus by increasing the volume of beneficial trade, facilitating more efficient matching between dealers and customers, and reducing search costs. Although the market transparency promoted by benchmarks reduces dealers' profit margins, dealers may nonetheless introduce a benchmark to encourage greater market participation by investors. Low-cost dealers may also introduce a benchmark to increase their market share relative to high-cost dealers. We construct a revelation mechanism that maximizes welfare subject to search frictions, and show conditions under which it coincides with announcing the benchmark.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20620

Published: DARRELL DUFFIE & PIOTR DWORCZAK & HAOXIANG ZHU, 2017. "Benchmarks in Search Markets," The Journal of Finance, vol 72(5), pages 1983-2044. citation courtesy of

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