From free-for-All to self-governing monopoly: market organization and price information at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, 1796-1940

Abe De Jong, Joost Jonker, Johan Poukens

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For most of its history Amsterdam securities trading was entirely unregulated and spread over various venues frequented by different social groups, handicapping price transparency. A public price current emerged only in 1796 and then with wide bid-Ask spreads to protect margins. To combat the confusion a curious pricing method, the mid-price system, emerged during the nineteenth century. Tied to a market microstructure centring on hoekmannen (market makers), this system transited effortlessly from a public market into a monopoly by 1913, self-governing, still without any government regulation, and offering wide rent-seeking opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-391
Number of pages16
JournalFinancial History Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022


  • financial markets
  • market organization
  • price formation
  • stock exchanges

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