Who Provides Liquidity, and When?
NBER Working Paper No. 25972
We model competition for liquidity provision between high-frequency traders (HFTs) and slower execution algorithms designed to minimize transaction costs for buy-side institutions (B-Algos). Under continuous pricing, B-Algos dominate liquidity provision by using aggressive limit orders to stimulate HFTs’ market orders. Under discrete pricing, HFTs dominate liquidity provision if the bid–ask spread is binding at one tick. If the tick size is not binding, B-Algos choose between stimulating HFTs and providing liquidity to other non-HFTs. Flash crashes arise under certain parameter values. Transaction costs can be negatively correlated with the bid–ask spread when all traders can provide liquidity.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25972