PHBS Seminar Series: The Microstructure of Endogenous Liquidity Provision

We propose a nonlinear rational expectations equilibrium model of high-frequency endogenous liquidity provision to explore fragile liquidity. With fast trading speed and private information, high-frequency traders can either compete with designated market makers (DMMs) by providing liquidity or attempt to profit from speculative trades that consume liquidity. The risk from this endogenous liquidity provision, coupled with limits to participation by DMMs, intensifies the adverse selection faced by DMMs. This can generate a gap between liquidity supply from DMMs and liquidity demand by informed traders. As a result, endogenous liquidity provision produces fragile liquidity, with the possibility of market breaks when high-frequency traders switch from liquidity provision to liquidity consumption on the basis of unexpected information signals.