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Intermediated Search

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  • Eric Smith

Abstract

If buyers cannot observe product characteristics, they search available sellers to find better matches. In this situation, market go-betweens who 'manage' a variety of products emerge, offering consumers a variety of trading opportunities which reduce the uncertainty of search and improve the quality of consumer-producer trades. The distribution of the benefits from this intermediation depend critically on the number of products available. When variety is low, increases in capacity heighten competition, thereby lowering prices. On the other hand, with many products on offer, retail firms act monopolistically. In this case, increased capacity raises prices. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 71 (2004)
Issue (Month): 284 (November)
Pages: 619-636

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:71:y:2004:i:284:p:619-636

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Cited by:
  1. Adrian Masters, 2007. "Middlemen In Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(1), pages 343-362, 02.
  2. Makoto Watanabe, 2006. "Middlemen: The Visible Market Makers," Economics Working Papers we061002, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  3. Watanabe, Makoto, 2010. "A model of merchants," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1865-1889, September.

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