Household debt and social interactions
- Debt-induced crises, including the subprime, are usually attributed exclusively to supply-side factors. We examine the role of social influences on debt culture, emanating from perceived average income of peers. Utilizing unique information from a household survey representative of the Dutch population, that circumvents the issue of defining the social circle, we consider collateralized, consumer, and informal loans. We find robust social effects on borrowing, especially among those who consider themselves poorer than their peers; and on indebtedness, suggesting a link to financial distress. We employ a number of approaches to rule out spurious associations and to handle correlated effects.
Competition/fragmentation in equities markets: a literature survey
Moritz Christian Weber
- Advances in technology and several regulatory initiatives have led to the emergence of a competitive but fragmented equity trading landscape in the US and Europe. While these changes have brought about several benefits like reduced transaction costs, regulators and market participants have also raised concerns about the potential adverse effects associated with increased execution complexity and the impact on market quality of new types of venues like dark pools. In this article we review the theoretical and empirical literature examining the economic arguments and motivations underlying market fragmentation, as well as the resulting implications for investors' welfare. We start with the literature that views exchanges as natural monopolies due to presence of network externalities, and then examine studies which challenge this view by focusing on trader heterogeneity and other aspects of the microstructure of equity markets.