Institutional Trading and Soft Dollars

  • Author(s): Jennifer S. Conrad, Kevin M. Johnson, Sunil Wahal
  • Published: Dec 17, 2002
  • Pages: 397-416
  • DOI: 10.1111/0022-1082.00331

Proprietary data allow us to distinguish between institutional investors' orders directed to soft‐dollar brokers and those directed to other types of brokers. We find that soft‐dollar brokers execute smaller orders in larger market value stocks. Allowing for differences in order characteristics, we estimate the incremental implicit cost of soft‐dollar execution at 29 (24) basis points for buyer‐ (seller‐) initiated orders. For large orders, incremental implicit costs are 41 (30) basis points for buys (sells). However, we document substantial variability in these estimates, and research services provided by soft‐dollar brokers may at least partially offset these costs.

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