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Pricing and Signaling with Frictions

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  • Alain Delacroix
  • Shouyong Shi

Abstract

We study a large market with directed search and signaling. Each seller chooses an investment that determines the quality of the good which is the seller's private information. A seller also chooses the price of the good and the number of selling sites. After observing sellers' choices of prices and sites, but not quality, buyers choose which price to search. The sites posting the same price and the buyers searching for that price match with each other randomly. In this environment, a seller's choices of prices and sites can direct buyers' search decisions and signal quality ex-ante. After matching, a buyer also receives an imperfectly informative signal about the quality of the good and decides whether to trade at the posted price. When the latter signal received is sufficiently accurate, we prove that there is a unique equilibrium. Moreover, when the quality differential is large, the equilibrium (under private information) implements the socially efficient allocation under public information. When the quality differential is small, the equilibrium is inefficient in the quality of goods produced or/and the number of sites created. This inefficiency is caused by a conflict between the search-directing role and the signaling role of a posted price. We also compare the price-posting equilibrium with the equilibrium under bargaining. The bargaining equilibrium features efficient quality, but inefficient entry. It is superior to the price-posting equilibrium when a seller's bargaining power is intermediate and the quality differential is small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-455.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 18 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-455

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Keywords: Directed search; Search; Signaling; Pricing; Efficiency;

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References

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  1. Jean Guillaume Forand, 2012. "Competing Through Information Provision," Working Papers 1201, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2012.
  2. 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.
  3. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 14915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
  5. Michael Peters & Sergei Severinov, 1995. "Competition Among Sellers who offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Working Papers peters-95-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  6. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  7. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Robert Shimer, 1998. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," Working papers 98-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Francisco M. Gonzalez & Shouyong Shi, 2010. "An Equilibrium Theory of Learning, Search, and Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 509-537, 03.
  11. Michelacci, Claudio & Suarez, Javier, 2002. "Incomplete Wage Posting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bester, Helmut, 1993. "Bargaining versus Price Competition in Markets with Quality Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 278-88, March.
  13. Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Inefficient Unemployment Dynamics under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 667-708, 08.
  14. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  15. Guido Menzio & Shouyong Shi, 2011. "Efficient Search on the Job and the Business Cycle," Working Papers tecipa-437, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  16. Shouyong Shi, 2008. "Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Working Papers tecipa-343, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  17. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  18. Peters, Michael, 1984. "Bertrand Equilibrium with Capacity Constraints and Restricted Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1117-27, September.
  19. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  20. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
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  23. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, Octomber.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2010. "Directed Search in the Housing Market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-005/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Ronald Wolthoff & Lodewijk Visschers & Benjamin Lester, 2012. "Asking Prices and Inspection Goods," 2012 Meeting Papers 792, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Derek G. Stacey, 2012. "Information, Commitment, and Separation in Illiquid Housing Markets," Working Papers 1289, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lester, Benjamin R. & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2013. "Competing with Asking Prices," IZA Discussion Papers 7163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Forand, Jean Guillaume, 2013. "Competing through information provision," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 438-451.
  6. Jean Guillaume Forand & Vikram Maheshri, 2013. "(De)Regulation and Market Thickness," Working Papers 2013-252-38, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  7. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 14915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Enchuan Shao, 2013. "The Threat of Counterfeiting in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Working Papers 13-22, Bank of Canada.
  9. Jonathan Halket & Matteo Pignatti, 2012. "Housing tenure choices with private information," Economics Discussion Papers 717, University of Essex, Department of Economics.

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