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An Efficiency Argument for Balanced Transaction Costs

  • Maria Arbatskaya

Transaction costs are usually thought to be a major source of inefficiency because they do not allow efficient trades to take place. One might think that lowering transaction costs is always welfare-improving. This paper argues that, in contrast to conventional wisdom, it may be beneficial to increase transaction costs on one side of the market to balance them with the costs on the other side. In the model, transaction costs imposed on applicants serve as a screening device that substantially reduces evaluation costs. Even when application costs are totally wasteful, they arise endogenously in the equilibrium and can result in a welfare improvement.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0517.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0517
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  1. Rasmusen Eric Bennett, 2001. "Explaining Incomplete Contracts as the Result of Contract-Reading Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-39, October.
  2. Guasch, J Luis & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Self-Selection in the Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 275-84, June.
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