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Search for an object with two attributes


  • Olszewski, Wojciech
  • Wolinsky, Asher


This paper presents and analyzes a simple equilibrium search model. On one side, there is a population of searchers; on the other side, a population of objects. Searchers are strategic decision makers who are there to get matched to an object, while objects have no preferences or decisions to make. The main novelty is that an object is characterized by two attributes, but a searcher can observe only one at the point of decision. This generates some interesting phenomena such as multiplicity of equilibria, in some of which the searcher's payoff is a discontinuous function of the observed attribute and the adoption decision is not everywhere monotonic in the observed attribute.

Suggested Citation

  • Olszewski, Wojciech & Wolinsky, Asher, 2016. "Search for an object with two attributes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 145-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:161:y:2016:i:c:p:145-160 DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2015.11.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neeman Z., 1996. "On determining the importance of attributes with a stopping problem," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 54-54, February.
    2. Chade, Hector, 2006. "Matching with noise and the acceptance curse," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 81-113, July.
    3. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
    4. Arnaud Chéron & Jean‐Olivier Hairault & François Langot, 2011. "Age‐Dependent Employment Protection," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1477-1504, December.
    5. Steven J. Davis, 2001. "The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 8434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ben Lockwood, 1991. "Information Externalities in the Labour Market and the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 733-753.
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    More about this item


    Search; Matching; Attributes;

    JEL classification:

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


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