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Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium

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  • Veronica Guerrieri
  • Robert Shimer
  • Randall Wright

Abstract

We extend the concept of competitive search equilibrium to environments with private information, and in particular adverse selection. Principals (e.g. employers or agents who want to buy assets) post contracts, which we model as revelation mechanisms. Agents (e.g. workers, or asset holders) have private information about the potential gains from trade. Agents observe the posted contracts and decide where to apply, trading off the contracts' terms of trade against the probability of matching, which depends in general on the principals' capacity constraints and market search frictions. We characterize equilibrium as the solution to a constrained optimization problem, and prove that principals offer separating contracts to attract different types of agents. We then present a series of applications, including models of signaling, insurance, and lemons. These illustrate the usefulness and generality of the approach, and serve to contrast our findings with standard results in both the contract and search literatures.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 78 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1823-1862

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:78:y:2010:i:6:p:1823-1862

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  1. Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Inefficient Unemployment Dynamics under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 667-708, 08.
  2. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-298, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2006. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 485-516, June.
  4. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  6. Moen, Espen R & Rosen, Asa, 2006. "Incentives in Competitive Search Equilibrium and Wage Rigidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5554, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Faig, Miquel & Jerez, Belen, 2005. "A theory of commerce," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 122(1), pages 60-99, May.
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