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Asymmetric information in bilateral trade and in markets: An inversion result

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  • Lauermann, Stephan

Abstract

I consider bilateral trade between a seller and a buyer with private valuations. The seller makes a take-it-or-leave-it price offer. If the seller observes the buyerʼs valuation (symmetric information), bilateral trade is trivially efficient. If the seller cannot observe the valuation (asymmetric information), bilateral trade is inefficient. This bilateral trading game is embedded into a large matching market. In the steady-state equilibrium of the market game, the relation between the informational regime and efficiency is inverted: With small frictions efficiency obtains if information is asymmetric. If information is symmetric, however, the trading outcome can be very inefficient—even if frictions vanish.

Suggested Citation

  • Lauermann, Stephan, 2012. "Asymmetric information in bilateral trade and in markets: An inversion result," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(5), pages 1969-1997.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:147:y:2012:i:5:p:1969-1997
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2012.05.021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, January.
    2. Leonardo Felli & Kevin Roberts, 2016. "Does Competition Solve the Hold-up Problem?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(329), pages 172-200, 01.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnold Polanski & Fernando Vega-Redondo, 2013. "Markets, Bargaining, and Networks with Heterogeneous Agents," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 038, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Romanyuk, Gleb & Smolin, Alexey, 2018. "Cream Skimming and Information Design in Marching Markets," MPRA Paper 86713, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stephan Lauermann, 2013. "Dynamic Matching and Bargaining Games: A General Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 663-689, April.
    4. Eeva Mauring, 2017. "Informational Cycles in Search Markets," Vienna Economics Papers 1708, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    5. Shneyerov, Artyom & Wong, Adam Chi Leung, 2011. "The role of private information in dynamic matching and bargaining: Can it be good for efficiency?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 128-131, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic matching and bargaining games; Decentralized markets; Consumer privacy; Search frictions; Asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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