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A Theory of Commerce: Competitive Search Under Private Information

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  • Miquel Faig
  • Belen Jerez

Abstract

We extend the concept of competitive search to an environment where, as is often common, sellers cannot observe the willingness to pay of their clients. This theoretical contribution is applied to model retail trade. We find that in equilibrium the ratio of buyers over sellers exceeds that of the first best allocation. However, a planner who faces the same informational constraints as the market and whose only policy instrument is to regulate market prices cannot improve upon the equilibrium allocation when the production technology is linear. The model we construct is quite tractable, and when inserted in a Neoclassical growth framework it is suciently rich to be taken to the data for estimation. The search parameters can be identified with data on commercial margins and the households' allocation of time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number faig-02-01.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 20 Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:faig-02-01

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  1. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1989. "On Money as a Medium of Exchange," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 927-54, August.
  2. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  3. Miquel Faig, 2001. "A Search Theory of Money and Commerce with Neoclassical Production," Working Papers, University of Toronto, Department of Economics faig-01-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
  5. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  6. Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro & Wright, Randall, 1993. "A Search-Theoretic Approach to Monetary Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 63-77, March.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  8. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 1998. "Pricing with frictions," Working Papers 98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Shouyong Shi, 1997. "A Divisible Search Model of Fiat Money," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 75-102, January.
  10. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  11. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  12. Betancourt, Roger R & Gautschi, David A, 1993. "The Outputs of Retail Activities: Concepts, Measurement and Evidence from U.S. Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 294-301, May.
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