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Search Frictions, Competing Mechanisms and Optimal Market Segmentation

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  • Xiaoming Cai
  • Pieter A. Gautier
  • Ronald P. Wolthoff

Abstract

In a market in which sellers compete for heterogeneous buyers by posting mechanisms, we analyze how the properties of the meeting technology affect the allocation of buyers to sellers. We show that a separate submarket for each type of buyer is the efficient outcome if and only if meetings are bilateral. In contrast, a single market with all agents is optimal if and only if the meeting technology satisfies a novel condition, which we call “joint concavity.” Both outcomes can be decentralized by sellers posting auctions combined with a fee that is paid by (or to) all buyers with whom the seller meets. Finally, we compare joint concavity to two other properties of meeting technologies, invariance and non-rivalry, and explain the differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaoming Cai & Pieter A. Gautier & Ronald P. Wolthoff, 2016. "Search Frictions, Competing Mechanisms and Optimal Market Segmentation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5916, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5916
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaoming Cai & Pieter Gautier & Ronald Wolthoff, 2021. "Search, Screening and Sorting," Working Papers tecipa-699, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Mangin, Sephorah, 2017. "A theory of production, matching, and distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 376-409.
    3. Auster, Sarah & Gottardi, Piero, 2019. "Competing mechanisms in markets for lemons," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(3), September.
    4. Julien, Benoît & Roger, Guillaume, 2018. "Bidding for incentive contracts," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 95-105.
    5. Mangin, Sephorah & Julien, Benoît, 2021. "Efficiency in search and matching models: A generalized Hosios condition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    6. Davoodalhosseini, Seyed Mohammadreza, 2019. "Constrained efficiency with adverse selection and directed search," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 568-593.
    7. He, Chuan & Mau, Karsten & Xu, Mingzhi, 2021. "Trade Shocks and Firms Hiring Decisions: Evidence from Vacancy Postings of Chinese Firms in the Trade War," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    8. Randall Wright & Philipp Kircher & Benoit Julîen & Veronica Guerrieri, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," NBER Working Papers 23884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Albrecht, James & Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter & Vroman, Susan, 2020. "Multiple applications, competing mechanisms, and market power," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    search frictions; matching function; meeting technology; competing mechanisms; heterogeneity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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