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Heterogeneous Beliefs, Price Dispersion, and Welfare-Improving Price Controls

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  • Michael Rauh

Abstract

We consider a search market model where agents have heterogeneous beliefs about the distribution of prices. A suggestive example shows that Jevon's Law of One Price and standard welfare results are not robust to small heterogeneous errors in beliefs. In particular we show that a price ceiling above marginal cost can reduce price dispersion and improve welfare (by lowering aggregate search costs) without decreasing quantity supplied. These results are broadly consistent with the empirical evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University in its series Economics and Finance Discussion Papers with number 97-03.

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Handle: RePEc:bru:bruedp:97-03

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Postal: Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK

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Cited by:
  1. Ralph Bradburd & Stephen Sheppard & Joseph Bergeron & Eric Engler, 2006. "The Impact Of Rent Controls In Non-Walrasian Markets: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 455-491.
  2. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Jun Zhang, 2011. "¡§Fire Sales¡¨ in Housing Market: Is the House- Search Process Similar to a Theme Park Visit?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 14(3), pages 311-329.
  3. Régis Breton & Bertrand Gobillard, 2006. "Robustness of equilibrium price dispersion in finite market games," EconomiX Working Papers 2006-10, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  4. Rauh, Michael T., 2007. "Nonstandard foundations of equilibrium search models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 518-529, January.
  5. C. Yiu & S. Wong & K. Chau, 2009. "Transaction Volume and Price Dispersion in the Presale and Spot Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 241-253, April.
  6. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Zhang, Jun, 2011. "“Fire Sales” in housing market: is the house-searching process similar to a theme park visit?," MPRA Paper 29127, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Rauh, Michael T., 2004. "Wage and price controls in the equilibrium sequential search model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1287-1300, December.

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