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  • MKT Research

Flattening the Illiquidity Curve: Retail Trading During the COVID-19 Lockdown

By Gideon Ozik, Ronnie Sadka, and Siyi Shen


This article studies the impact of retail investors on stock liquidity during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in spring 2020. Retail trading exhibits a sharp increase, especially among stocks with high COVID-19–related media coverage. Retail trading attenuated the rise in illiquidity by roughly 40% but less so for high-media-attention stocks. Causality is addressed using the staggered implementation of the stay-at-home advisory across U.S. states. The results highlight that ample free time and access to financial markets facilitated by fintech innovations to trading platforms are significant determinants of retail-investor stock market participation.

Read a working paper version of this article here


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