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Completing Markets with Contracts: Evidence from the First Central Clearing Counterparty

Guillaume Vuillemey

No 13230, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: 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 difference-in-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 risk-sharing possibilities enabled more gains from trade to be realized. The successful contractual innovation quickly spread to new exchanges.

Keywords: Central clearing; Contracts; incomplete markets; International trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 G23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-his and nep-pay
Date: 2018-10
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