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Dual Trading in Futures Markets


  • Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and the College of Business, The Ohio State University, respectively. We are grateful for the comments and suggestions of Tom George, Larry Glosten, Kathleen Hagerty, Paul Laux, Steve Manaster, Robert McDonald, Rob Neal, Duane Seppi, Chester Spatt, Finance Workshop participants at the University of British Columbia, the University of Chicago, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana, the University of Michigan, The Ohio State University, and participants at the December 1989 Econometric Society meetings, the April 1990 NYSE/USC/UCLA Market Micro-Structure Conference, and the 1990 Western Finance Association meetings, and for the research assistance of John Wayman. We are particularly grateful for the comments of the referees and the editor René Stulz. The first author thanks the Merrill Lynch Research Professorship and the Banking Research Center at Northwestern University for financial support. All errors are our responsibility.


With dual trading, brokers trade both for their customers and for their own account. We study dual trading and find that customers who are less likely to be informed have higher expected profits with dual trading while customers who are more likely to be informed have higher expected profits without dual trading. We also examine the effects of frontrunning. We test the major empirical implications of our model. Consistent with the model, dual traders earn higher profits than non-dual traders, and customers of dual-trading brokers do better than customers of non-dual-trading brokers.