Economies of Scope and Density in the Market for Real Estate Brokerage Services
Using a multiproduct translog cost function, this paper examines the case for economies of scope and density in the market for residential real estate brokerage services. Earlier research that treated output as a homogeneous commodity reported modest economies of scale for this industry. The results of this study suggest that the composition of output is an important source of these scale economies, rather than simply the size of the firm. The economies of scope which we find imply that a balanced mix of listing and sales is the least costly type of operation, a result borne out by the product mix found in our sample. The results also show product-specific diseconomies of scale, suggesting that specialization in either listing or sales may be sub-optimal under the current institutional arrangements present in the market. Finally, market density appears to be, at best, only a nominal source of savings for real estate brokerage firms. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.
Volume (Year): 22 (1994)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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