Specialist: The firm or the individual? Empirical evidence from the options markets

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2 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the role of the individual specialist vis-à-vis that of the specialist firm on the quality of markets. While previous studies have not denied the importance of the individual, they have focused exclusively on the performance of the specialist firm. This study is the first empirical test of the specialist as an individual and his influence on market quality. By implication, it tests whether the firm is the appropriate level of analysis. Within specialist firms, we find significant differences in quoting behavior while the evidence on execution quality is mixed. Some firms are able to design an effective mechanism that enforces uniformity in goals of the members of the firm. Considering that exchanges are unable to impose such uniform performance, these firms appear to have better incentive or penalty systems in place. However, the existence of other firms where significant differences in execution quality exist, presents a challenge to policy makers, as differences in execution quality within a firm indicate that the disclosure of market quality needs to be at the post-level, not just at the firm level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-575
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Economics and Business
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Options market microstructure
  • Specialist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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