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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
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7639
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  1. Antonia Díaz & Belén Jerez, 2010. "House prices, sales, and time on the market : a search-theoretic framework," Economics Working Papers we1033, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  2. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," IZA Discussion Papers 719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1993. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," Papers 42, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. L. Rachel Ngai & Silvana Tenreyro, 2013. "Hot and cold seasons in the housing market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54251, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  6. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
  7. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-298, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. François Ortalo-Magné & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-02, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  11. Camera, Gabriele & Selcuk, Cemil, 2004. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1173, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  12. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  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. 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.
  15. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  16. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Discussion Papers 1400, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  18. 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.
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