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Essays on market microstructure

Lew, Sean (2012) Essays on market microstructure. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis contains three essays on market microstructure. Chapter 1 studies how endogenous information acquisition affects financial markets by modelling potentially informed traders who optimally acquire variable information at increasing cost. Prices affect the informed trading by providing incentives for acquiring information. Endogenous information acquisition explains the stylised facts that informed trading and transaction volume spike after informational events and fall over time. My model also tells a cautionary tale for interpreting measures of informed trading. Three common empirical proxies derived under the exogenous assumption (spreads, Easley O'Hara's PIN and blockholder interest) do not agree with each other in my setup. Chapter 2 develops a more general framework with endogenous information acquisition which I use to examine the behaviour of an optimal monopolistic market maker. Unlike a competitive market maker, he sets prices to increase information revelation which is valuable to him. I characterise market information structure by whether narrower or wider spreads increase the information revealed by trades. An optimal monopolistic market maker may behave differently from the standard exogenous information benchmark. He may set narrower spreads in early periods. On average, spreads may widen over time. The different results arise from the interaction of a monopolistic market maker with endogenous information acquisition. Chapter 3 studies the impact of confidential treatment requests made by institutional investors to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to delay disclosure of their holdings. The SEC requires the manager to present a coherent on-going trading program in his request for confidential treatment. If granted, he is restricted to trade in a manner consistent with his reported forecast in the subsequent period. Under the restriction, the manager earns higher expected profits by applying for confidential treatment only if his probability of success exceeds a threshold. The model predicts that the price impact of a disclosed trade due to a confidential treatment request denial is greater than that of a disclosed trade where there is no request.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Finance
Supervisor: Rahi, Rohit and Zigrand, Jean-Pierre

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