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(De)Regulation and Market Thickness

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  • Jean Guillaume Forand

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

  • Vikram Maheshri

    (Department of Economics, University of Houston)

Abstract

In this paper, we develop a general view of regulation as a set of constraints imposed on market transactions by a welfare-maximizing authority. We present a novel frictional search model with horizontal differentiation and nontransferable utility in which a regulator determines the set of permitted match-specific production functions. Once the dynamic market opens, buyers and sellers are matched and sellers propose transactions from among those that are allowed. We show the existence and uniqueness of a marketequilibrium for any choice of regulatory constraints and characterize the regulator’s exante optimal choice of regulatory environment. We argue that in less developed, or ‘thin’, markets, regulation is an important tool to correct market failure arising from mismatch between buyers and sellers. However, if markets develop and become ‘thick’, regulations can become onerous vestiges and deregulation is welfare-enhancing. In this case, a regulator can rely on market participants’ equilibrium behavior instead of explicit constraints on economic activities to ensure that transactions occur efficiently.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1202.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:1202

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  1. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
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  3. Baron, David P., 1989. "Design of regulatory mechanisms and institutions," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1347-1447 Elsevier.
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  7. Mark Satterthwaite & Artyom Shneyerov, 2007. "Dynamic Matching, Two-Sided Incomplete Information, and Participation Costs: Existence and Convergence to Perfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 155-200, 01.
  8. Max Planck Institute & Stephan Lauermann, 2007. "Dynamic Matching and Bargaining Games: A General Approach," 2007 Meeting Papers 269, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  10. Gianni De Fraja & Jozsef Sakovics, 2004. "Walras Retrouve: Decentralized Trading Mechanisms and the Competitive Price," ESE Discussion Papers 36, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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  13. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1998. "Assortive Matching and Search," Papers 98-09, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  14. Jan Eeckhout, 1996. "Bilateral Search and Vertical Heterogeneity," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series /1996/315, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  15. Sattinger, Michael, 1995. "Search and the Efficient Assignment of Workers to Jobs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, May.
  16. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  17. Adachi, Hiroyuki, 2003. "A search model of two-sided matching under nontransferable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 182-198, December.
  18. Stephan Lauermann & Georg Nöldeke, 2012. "Stable Marriages and Search Frictions," Working papers 2012/10, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  19. Dirk Hofmann & Salmai Qari, 2011. "The Law of Attraction: Bilateral Search and Horizontal Heterogeneity," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  20. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1993. "A Generalized Theorem of the Maximum," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 99-107, January.
  21. Simon Clark, 2007. "Matching and Sorting when Like Attracts Like," ESE Discussion Papers 171, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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