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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. James Albrecht & Pieter Gautier, 2004. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 330, Econometric Society.
  2. Chen, Yongmin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1996. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 129-55, February.
  3. Ngai, Liwa Rachel & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2013. "Hot and Cold Seasons in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 9427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  5. 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.
  6. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
  7. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 14915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  11. 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.
  12. Delacroix, Alain & Shi, Shouyong, 2013. "Pricing and signaling with frictions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1301-1332.
  13. 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.
  14. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  15. 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.
  16. Camera, Gabriele & Selcuk, Cemil, 2004. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1173, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  17. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  18. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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