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Heterogeneous beliefs, price dispersion, and welfare-improving price controls

Author

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  • Michael T. Rauh

    () (Department of Economics and Finance, Brunel University, Uxbridge Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK)

Abstract

We consider a search market model where agents have heterogeneous beliefs about the distribution of prices. A suggestive example shows that Jevon's Law of One Price and standard welfare results are not robust to small heterogeneous errors in beliefs. In particular we show that a price ceiling above marginal cost can reduce price dispersion and improve welfare (by lowering aggregate search costs) without decreasing quantity supplied. These results are broadly consistent with the empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael T. Rauh, 2001. "Heterogeneous beliefs, price dispersion, and welfare-improving price controls," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(3), pages 577-603.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:18:y:2001:i:3:p:577-603
    Note: Received: July 27, 1999; revised version: May 24, 2000
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Zhang, Jun, 2011. "“Fire Sales” in housing market: is the house-searching process similar to a theme park visit?," MPRA Paper 29127, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Régis Breton & Bertrand Gobillard, 2005. "Robustness of equilibrium price dispersion in finite market games," Post-Print halshs-00257207, HAL.
    3. Gabriele Camera & Jaehong Kim, 2016. "Dynamic directed search," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(1), pages 131-154, June.
    4. Rauh, Michael T., 2007. "Nonstandard foundations of equilibrium search models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 518-529, January.
    5. Ralph Bradburd & Stephen Sheppard & Joseph Bergeron & Eric Engler, 2006. "The Impact Of Rent Controls In Non-Walrasian Markets: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 455-491.
    6. Ralph-C. Bayer & Hang Wu & Mickey Chan, 2014. "Special Section: Experiments on Learning, Methods, and Voting," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 278-295, August.
    7. C. Yiu & S. Wong & K. Chau, 2009. "Transaction Volume and Price Dispersion in the Presale and Spot Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 241-253, April.
    8. Ralph-C. Bayer & Hang Wu & Mickey Chan, 2013. "Explaining Price Dispersion and Dynamics in Laboratory Bertrand Markets," School of Economics Working Papers 2013-16, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    9. Rauh, Michael T., 2004. "Wage and price controls in the equilibrium sequential search model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1287-1300, December.
    10. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Jun Zhang, 2011. "¡§Fire Sales¡¨ in Housing Market: Is the House- Search Process Similar to a Theme Park Visit?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 14(3), pages 311-329.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogeneous beliefs; large games; nonstandard analysis; price controls; price dispersion; temporary equilibrium.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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