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Implicit collusion on wide spreads
Biais, Bruno; Foucault, Thierry; Salani, François
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
Recent empirical findings suggest that spreads quoted in dealershipmarkets might be uncompetitive. This paper analyzes theoretically if pricecompetition between risk--averse market--makers leaves room for implicitcollusive behavior. We compare the spread and risk--sharing efficiencyarising in several market structures differing in terms of i) the priorityrule followed in case of ties, and ii) the type of schedules market makersmay use, namely: general schedules, linear schedules, or limit orders. Ingeneral, competitive pricing does not arise in equilibrium, and there isa conflict between risk sharing efficiency and the tightness of the spread.This conflict can be mitigated by an appropriate market structure design.The limit order market is the only market structure in which the competitiveequilibrium is the unique equilibrium.
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