NBER

Robert P. Bartlett III

890 Simon Hall
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Berkeley

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020Small Business Survival Capabilities and Policy Effectiveness: Evidence from Oakland
with Adair Morse: w27629
Using unique City of Oakland data during COVID-19, we document that small business survival capabilities vary by firm size as a function of revenue resiliency, labor flexibility, and committed costs. Nonemployer businesses rely on low cost structures to survive 73% declines in own-store foot traffic. Microbusinesses (1-to-5 employees) depend on 14% greater revenue resiliency. Enterprises (6-to-50 employees) have twice-as-much labor flexibility, but face 11%-to-22% higher residual closure risk from committed costs. Finally, inconsistent with the spirit of Chetty-Friedman-Hendren-Sterner (2020) and Granja-Makridis-Yannelis-Zwick (2020), PPP application success increased medium-run survival probability by 20.5%, but only for microbusinesses, arguing for size-targeting of policies.
June 2019Consumer-Lending Discrimination in the FinTech Era
with Adair Morse, Richard Stanton, Nancy Wallace: w25943
Discrimination in lending can occur either in face-to-face decisions or in algorithmic scoring. We provide a workable interpretation of the courts’ legitimate-business-necessity defense of statistical discrimination. We then estimate the extent of racial/ethnic discrimination in the largest consumer-lending market using an identification afforded by the pricing of mortgage credit risk by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We find that lenders charge Latinx/African-American borrowers 7.9 and 3.6 basis points more for purchase and refinance mortgages respectively, costing them $765M in aggregate per year in extra interest. FinTech algorithms also discriminate, but 40% less than face-to-face lenders. These results are consistent with both FinTech and non-FinTech lenders extracting monopoly rents in ...
August 2016How Rigged Are Stock Markets?: Evidence From Microsecond Timestamps
with Justin McCrary: w22551
We use new timestamp data from the two Securities Information Processors (SIPs) to examine SIP reporting latencies for quote and trade reports. Reporting latencies average 1.13 milliseconds for quotes and 22.84 milliseconds for trades. Despite these latencies, liquidity-taking orders gain on average $0.0002 per share when priced at the SIP-reported national best bid or offer (NBBO) rather than the NBBO calculated using exchanges’ direct data feeds. Trading surrounding SIP-priced trades shows little evidence that fast traders initiate these liquidity-taking orders to pick-off stale quotes. These findings contradict claims that fast traders systematically exploit traders who transact at the SIP NBBO.
June 2015Dark Trading at the Midpoint: Pricing Rules, Order Flow, and High Frequency Liquidity Provision
with Justin McCrary: w21286
Using over eight trillion observations of market data, we use a regression discontinuity design to analyze the effect of increasing the minimum price variation (MPV) for quoting equity securities in light of recent proposals to increase the MPV from $0.01 to $0.05. We show that a larger MPV encourages investors to trade in dark venues at the midpoint of the national best bid and offer. Enhanced order flow to dark venues reduces price competition by exchange liquidity providers, especially those using high frequency trading (HFT). Trading in dark venues due to a wider MPV reduces volatility and increases trading volume.

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