Information, Market Power and Welfare

Publication Date
Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers DP 842
Publication Date
Paul Woolley Centre Discussion Papers No 81
Publication Authors

We study a financial market in which agents with interdependent values bid for a risky asset. Some agents are privately informed of their own value for the asset while others seek to infer it from the equilibrium price. Due to adverse selection, uninformed agents are less willing than the informed to provide liquidity, and engage in greater bid shading when prices are more informative. While increased participation by informed agents leads to perfect competition in the limit, the market remains illiquid to some degree even with free entry of uninformed traders. The incentive to produce information is increasing in market size and is maximal in a perfectly competitive economy. Price informativeness, on the other hand, is independent of market size. Curtailing information production by one group can reduce adverse selection, and improve liquidity and welfare for all agents.