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

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  • Loertscher, Simon
  • Niedermayer, Andras

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 Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 435.

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Date of creation: 20 Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:435

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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hong, Han, 2003. "An MCMC approach to classical estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 293-346, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
  7. 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.
  8. Genesove, David & Han, Lu, 2010. "Search and Matching in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 7777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, December.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer, 2012. "Fee-Setting Mechanisms: On Optimal Pricing by Intermediaries and Indirect Taxation," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1162, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2013. "Brokers' contractual arrangements in the Manhattan residential rental market," MPRA Paper 43967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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.

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