Completing Markets with Contracts: Evidence from the First Central Clearing Counterparty*
|Speaker:||Guillaume Vuillemey , HEC Paris|
|Date: ||Tuesday 4 December 2018|
|Location: ||Kolade teaching room, Building: one|
I study the real effects a contracting innovation that suddenly made financial markets more complete: central clearing counterparties (CCPs) for derivatives. The first CCP to provide full insulation against counterparty risk was created in Le Havre (France) in 1882, in the coffee futures market. Using triple differencein-differences estimation, I show that central clearing changed the geography of trade flows Europe-wide, to the benefit of Le Havre. Inspecting the mechanism using trader-level data, I show that the CCP was instrumental both to mitigate adverse selection issues and to solve a “missing market” problem. Increased risksharing possibilities enabled more gains from trade to be realized. The successful contractual innovation quickly spread to new exchanges.