Market Distortions when Agents are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions
AbstractAgents are often better informed than the clients who hire them and may exploit this informational advantage. Real-estate agents, who know much more about the housing market than the typical homeowner, are one example. Because real estate agents receive only a small share of the incremental profit when a house sells for a higher value, there is an incentive for them to convince their clients to sell their houses too cheaply and too quickly. We test these predictions by comparing home sales in which real estate agents are hired by others to sell a home to instances in which a real estate agent sells his or her own home. In the former case, the agent has distorted incentives; in the latter case, the agent wants to pursue the first-best. Consistent with the theory, we find homes owned by real estate agents sell for about 3.7 percent more than other houses and stay on the market about 9.5 days longer, even after controlling for a wide range of housing characteristics. Situations in which the agent's informational advantage is larger lead to even greater distortions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11053.
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Steven D. Levitt & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Market Distortions When Agents Are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-611, November.
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
- L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services
- R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-01-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2005-01-23 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-GEO-2005-01-23 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-MIC-2005-01-23 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-URE-2005-01-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gilat Levy, 2000. "Strategic Consultation in the Presence of Career Concerns," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 404, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004.
"Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England,"
Journal of Urban Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
- Antonio M. Merlo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," CESifo Working Paper Series 778, CESifo Group Munich.
- François Ortalo-Magné & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-02, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
- 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.
- David Genesove & Christopher J. Mayer, 1993. "Equity and time to sale in the real estate market," Working Papers 93-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- David Genesove & Christopher J. Mayer, 1994. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," NBER Working Papers 4861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Genesove, D. & Mayer, C.J., 1994. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," Working papers 94-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Hubbard, Thomas N, 2002. "How Do Consumers Motivate Experts? Reputational Incentives in an Auto Repair Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 437-68, October.
- Vijay Krishna & John Morgan, 1999.
"A Model of Expertise,"
154, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
- Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982.
"Strategic Information Transmission,"
Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
- Munneke, Henry J & Yavas, Abdullah, 2001. "Incentives and Performance in Real Estate Brokerage," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 5-21, January.
- John G. Riley, 2001. "Silver Signals: Twenty-Five Years of Screening and Signaling," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 432-478, June.
- Taylor, Curtis R, 1995. "The Economics of Breakdowns, Checkups, and Cures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 53-74, February.
- Thomas N. Hubbard, 1998. "An Empirical Examination of Moral Hazard in the Vehicle Inspection Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 406-426, Summer.
- Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991.
"Bargaining with Private Information,"
90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
- Timothy E. Jares & James E. Larsen & Thomas S. Zorn, 2000. "An Optimal Incentive System For Real Estate Agents," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 20(1), pages 49-59.
- Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, .
"An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- 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.
- Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Can Free Entry be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," NBER Working Papers 9208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Canice Prendergast, 2002. "The Tenuous Trade-off between Risk and Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1071-1102, October.
- Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990.
"Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market,"
NBER Working Papers
3368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Karl E. Case & Robert J. Shiller, 1990. "Forecasting Prices and Excess Returns in the Housing Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 253-273.
- David E. M. Sappington, 1991. "Incentives in Principal-Agent Relationships," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 45-66, Spring.
- Shaban, Radwan Ali, 1987. "Testing between Competing Models of Sharecropping," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 893-920, October.
- Jonathan Gruber & Maria Owings, 1996.
"Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Section Delivery,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 99-123, Spring.
- Jonathan Gruber & Maria Owings, 1994. "Physician Financial Incentives and Cesarean Section Delivery," NBER Working Papers 4933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Taylor, Curtis R, 1999. "Time-on-the-Market as a Sign of Quality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 555-78, July.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.