SAFE Working Paper No. 358

Liquidity Derivatives

It is well established that investors price market liquidity risk. Yet, there exists no financial claim contingent on liquidity. We propose a contract to hedge uncertainty over future transaction costs, detailing potential buyers and sellers. Introducing liquidity derivatives in Brunnermeier and Pedersen (2009) improves financial stability by mitigating liquidity spirals. We simulate liquidity option prices for a panel of NYSE stocks spanning 2000 to 2020 by fitting a stochastic process to their bid-ask spreads. These contracts reduce the exposure to liquidity factors. Their prices provide a novel illiquidity measure refllecting cross-sectional commonalities. Finally, stock returns significantly spread along simulated prices.