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Assessing the Performance of Simple Contracts Empirically:The Case of Percentage Fees

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  • Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer

Abstract

This paper estimates the cost of using simple percentage fees rather than the broker optimal Bayesian mechanism, using data for real estate transactions in Boston in the mid-1990s. This counterfactual analysis shows that interme-diaries using the best percentage fee mechanisms with fees ranging from 5.4% to 7.4% achieve 85% or more of the maximum profit. With the empirically observed 6% fees intermediaries achieve at least 83% of the maximum profit and with an optimally structured linear fee, they achieve 98% or more of the maximum profit.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1163.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1163

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Keywords: brokers; simple mechanisms; percentage fees; real estate brokerage;

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References

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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
  2. Wolinsky, Asher, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511, August.
  3. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-69, June.
  4. Han Bin Kang & Mona J. Gardner, 1989. "Selling Price and Marketing Time in the Residential Real Estate Market," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 4(1), pages 21-35.
  5. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2007. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus FSBOMadison.com," NBER Working Papers 13360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Artyom Shneyerov, 2006. "An empirical study of auction revenue rankings: the case of municipal bonds," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(4), pages 1005-1022, December.
  7. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-55, Summer.
  8. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hong, Han, 2003. "An MCMC approach to classical estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 293-346, August.
  9. Chenghuan Sean Chu & Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2011. "Bundle-Size Pricing as an Approximation to Mixed Bundling," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 263-303, February.
  10. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, December.
  11. Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer, 2008. "Fee Setting Intermediaries: On Real Estate Agents, Stock Brokers, and Auction Houses," Discussion Papers 1472, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Donald, Stephen G & Paarsch, Harry J, 1993. "Piecewise Pseudo-maximum Likelihood Estimation in Empirical Models of Auctions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 121-48, February.
  13. Anderson, S.P. & Renault, R., 1997. "Pricing, Product Diversity and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," Papers 97.481, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  14. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-92, December.
  15. Genesove, David & Han, Lu, 2010. "Search and Matching in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 7777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Ben Shiller & Joel Waldfogel, 2011. "Music for a Song: An Empirical Look at Uniform Pricing and Its Alternatives," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 630-660, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Loertscher, Simon & Niedermayer, Andras, 2012. "Fee-Setting Mechanisms: On Optimal Pricing by Intermediaries and Indirect Taxation," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 434, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Loertscher, Simon & Niedermayer, Andras, 2014. "Fee-Setting Mechanisms: On Optimal Pricing by Intermediaries and Indirect Taxation," Working Papers 14-03, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  3. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2013. "Brokers' contractual arrangements in the Manhattan residential rental market," MPRA Paper 43967, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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