Acheson, Graeme G. Coyle, Christopher Turner, John D.
Year of Publication:
QUCEH Working Paper Series No. 2018-05
Using a novel dataset where all traders are identifiable, we examine trading in the shares of a major company on the London Stock Exchange before 1920. Our main finding is that bid-ask spreads increased in the presence of informed trades. However, we also find that spreads narrowed during periods of informed trading when such trades were timed to periods of large uninformed volume and that professional traders consistently timed larger volume to such periods. We also find that spreads increased during the 1914 closure of the Stock Exchange. Our results provide support for the classical microstructure theories of informed trading.