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Buyers, sellers and middlemen: variations in search theory

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  • Yuet-Yee Wong
  • Randall Wright

Abstract

We study bilateral exchange, both direct trade and indirect trade that happens through chains of intermediaries or middlemen. We develop a model of this activity and present applications. This illustrates how, and how many, intermediaries get involved, and how the terms of trade are determined. Bargaining with intermediaries depends on how they bargain with downstream intermediaries, leading to interesting holdup problems. We discuss the roles of buyers and sellers in bilateral exchange, and how to interpret prices. We develop a particular bargaining solution and relate it to other solutions. We also illustrate how bubbles can emerge in the value of inventories.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuet-Yee Wong & Randall Wright, 2011. "Buyers, sellers and middlemen: variations in search theory," Working Papers 691, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:691
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Watanabe Makoto, 2020. "Middlemen: A Directed Search Equilibrium Approach," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 1-37, June.
    2. Charles Ka Yui Leung & Chung-Yi Tse, 2012. "Flippers in Housing Market Search," 2012 Meeting Papers 434, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. V. P. Nirmal Roy, 2020. "Part-time Brokers in Financialised Rural Land Markets: Processes, Typology and Implications," Review of Development and Change, , vol. 25(1), pages 70-88, June.
    4. Davis, Morris A. & Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn, 2015. "Housing, Finance, and the Macroeconomy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 753-811, Elsevier.
    5. Randall Wright & Yuet‐Yee Wong, 2014. "Buyers, Sellers, And Middlemen: Variations On Search‐Theoretic Themes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(2), pages 375-397, May.

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