Authors: Michael J. Fleming, Giang Nguyen, and Francisco Ruela
This paper studies the effects of a recent tick size reduction in the U.S. Treasury securities market. We find significantly narrower bid-ask spreads, increased trading activity, improved depth within one old tick despite lower overall market depth, and improved price efficiency. Moreover, slow traders become more competitive in liquidity provision and price improvement. Finally, high-frequency price discovery shifts to the smaller-tick cash market from the associated futures market, supporting the idea that a finer pricing grid allows traders to act promptly on even small information signals otherwise not profitable. Overall, we conclude that the tick size reduction improves market quality.