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Directed Search in the Housing Market

  • Albrecht, James
  • Gautier, Pieter A
  • Vroman, Susan

In this paper, we present a directed search model of the housing market. The pricing mechanism we analyze reflects the way houses are bought and sold in the United States. Our model is consistent with the observation that houses are sometimes sold above, sometimes below and sometimes at the asking price. We consider two versions of our model. In the first version, all sellers have the same reservation value. In the second version, there are two seller types, and type is private information. For both versions, we characterize the equilibrium of the game played by buyers and sellers, and we prove efficiency. Our model offers a new way to look at the housing market from a search-theoretic perspective. In addition, we contribute to the directed search literature by considering a model in which the asking price (i) entails only limited commitment and (ii) has the potential to signal seller type.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7639.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7639
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  1. James Albrecht, Pieter Gautier, & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Application," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-02, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Belen Jerez & Antonia Diaz, 2009. "House Prices, Sales and Time on the Market: A Search-Theoretic Framework," 2009 Meeting Papers 1006, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
  4. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-92, December.
  5. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 452-484, June.
  6. Robert Shimer & Randall Wright & Veronica Guerrieri, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," 2009 Meeting Papers 139, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Silvana Tenreyro & Rachel Ngai, 2009. "Hot And Cold Seasons in the Housing Market," 2009 Meeting Papers 955, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Antonio M. Merlo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," CESifo Working Paper Series 778, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1993. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," Papers 42, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  10. Gabriele Camera & Cemil Selcuk, 2009. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1193-1224, December.
  11. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  12. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  13. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  14. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  15. James Albrecht & Axel Anderson & Eric Smith & Susan Vroman, 2007. "Opportunistic Matching In The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 641-664, 05.
  16. Paul E. Carrillo, 2012. "An Empirical Stationary Equilibrium Search Model Of The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 203-234, 02.
  17. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  18. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
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