Market Liquidity: Asset Pricing, Risk, and Crises

Market Liquidity: Asset Pricing, Risk, and Crises

By Yakov Amihud, Haim Mendelson, Lasse Heje Pedersen
Cambridge University Press, 2012

This book presents the theory and evidence on the effect of market liquidity and liquidity risk on asset prices and on overall securities market performance. Illiquidity means incurring a high transaction cost, which includes a large price impact when trading and facing a long time to unload a large position. Liquidity risk is higher if a security becomes more illiquid when it needs to be traded in the future, which will raise trading cost. The book shows that higher illiquidity and greater liquidity risk reduce securities prices and raise the expected return that investors require as compensation. Aggregate market liquidity is linked to funding liquidity, which affects the provision of liquidity services. When these become constrained, there is a liquidity crisis which leads to downward price and liquidity spiral. Overall, the volume demonstrates the important role of liquidity in asset pricing.

Selected Editorial Reviews
Over the past quarter century, the research contributions of Amihud, Mendelson, and Pedersen have been central to an understanding of the determinants and pricing of market liquidity and liquidity risk. This collection places the best available work on the topic between two covers. It must be read by anyone following this subject area.
Darrell Duffie, Stanford Graduate School of Business
The liquidity of financial markets has never been a more important topic of research and policy and this book gives a very accessible way to understand both the traditional and current research. The book reproduces eight papers that range from the seminal work that defined the field starting in the 1980s to the recent research based on the analysis of the financial crisis. A particular feature of the book is the series of extended introductions to each of the papers, written nontechnically to summarize each paper and how it fits into future research - they will transport you to a first rate graduate classroom.
Robert Engle, Nobel Laureate and Director, Volatility Institute, New York University
The term 'market liquidity' means different things to different people at different times. Distinguishing, defining, and measuring the different meanings is an important activity, especially now, after four years of financial crises. This collection of scientific papers by eminent scholars is an important contribution to understanding market frictions and arrangements to manage them.
Thomas Sargent, Nobel Laureate, New York University
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