MSRB to Facilitate Municipal Market Research with New Academic Data Product

Date: September 14, 2016

Contact: Jennifer A. Galloway, Chief Communications Officer


Washington, DC – As part of an ongoing commitment to fostering greater understanding of trading practices in the municipal securities market, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) will develop an enhanced historical data product to provide institutions of higher education with post-trade municipal securities transaction data.

“The MSRB has long supported municipal market research that helps inform our regulatory and market transparency initiatives,” said MSRB Executive Director Lynnette Kelly. “By continuing to increase the availability and usefulness of data for academics, the MSRB hopes to encourage researchers to consider more sophisticated questions and conduct further studies of market behavior.”

The MSRB currently makes municipal securities trade data available to academics through a partnership with Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) and through its own historical data product. The new academic data product will allow researchers to draw additional conclusions about patterns of trading in the market by including anonymous dealer identifiers. These identifiers will assist researchers in distinguishing transactions executed by specific parties, while still protecting the dealers’ actual identities.

“The MSRB has taken several measures to make the data as rich as possible for researchers while guarding against the potential for ‘reverse engineering’ to identify the dealers in particular transaction,” Kelly said. Read the regulatory notice for more details on the parameters of the academic product.

The MSRB collects secondary market trade data through the Real-Time Transaction Reporting System (RTRS), which is made available to the public at no charge on the Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website and on a subscription basis for a fee. When fully developed in 2017, the new historical trade data product will be made available only to academic institutions.

The MSRB protects investors, state and local governments and other municipal entities, and the public interest by promoting a fair and efficient municipal securities market. The MSRB fulfills this mission by regulating the municipal securities firms, banks and municipal advisors that engage in municipal securities and advisory activities. To further protect market participants, the MSRB provides market transparency through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website, the official repository for information on all municipal bonds. The MSRB also serves as an objective resource on the municipal market, conducts extensive education and outreach to market stakeholders, and provides market leadership on key issues. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization governed by a 21-member board of directors that has a majority of public members, in addition to representatives of regulated entities. The MSRB is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress.