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Heterogeneous Beliefs, Price Dispersion, and Welfare-Improving Price Controls


  • Michael Rauh


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.
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  • Michael Rauh, "undated". "Heterogeneous Beliefs, Price Dispersion, and Welfare-Improving Price Controls," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 97-03, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:bru:bruedp:97-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Régis Breton & Bertrand Gobillard, 2005. "Robustness of equilibrium price dispersion in finite market games," Post-Print halshs-00257207, HAL.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Rauh, Michael T., 2007. "Nonstandard foundations of equilibrium search models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 518-529, January.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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

    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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