In this paper, we examine whether the hidden portion of limit orders represents depth that would be revealed if traders were not allowed to hide it, and the associated market quality implications. Specifically, we examine the decisions by the Toronto Stock Exchange to first abolish the use of hidden limit orders in 1996, and then reintroduce them in 2002. We find that quoted depth does not change following either decision, suggesting that the hidden portion of orders represents depth that would otherwise not be exposed. Using confidential order data for the period following the reintroduction of hidden limit orders, we find that total inside depth increases. For both events, volume does not change and the usage of the limit order book increases if hidden limit orders are allowed. This suggests that if traders are required to expose their orders they will not exit the market, but instead will switch to using market orders. We also find evidence to suggest that informed traders use hidden limit orders to minimize price impact if the probability of non-execution is small.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Electronic limit order markets
- Hidden limit orders
- Market quality
- Trader behavior