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(De)Regulation and Market Thickness

  • Jean Guillaume Forand


    (University of Waterloo)

  • Vikram Maheshri


    (University of Houston)

Regulation is a set of constraints imposed on transactions between buyers and sellers. We introduce a dynamic frictional matching model with horizontal differentiation and nontransferable utility in which a regulator determines permissible transactions. We show the existence and uniqueness of a market equilibrium for any level of regulation and characterize the regulator’s optimal choice of regulatory environment. We argue that in ‘thin’, markets, regulation can correct market failure arising from mismatch between buyers and sellers. However, in ‘thick’ markets, deregulation is optimal, as a regulator can rely on market participants’ equilibrium behavior instead of explicit constraints on economic activities.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 2013-252-38.

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Date of creation: 06 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2013-252-38
Contact details of provider: Postal: Houston TX 77023
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  1. Stephan Lauermann, 2013. "Dynamic Matching and Bargaining Games: A General Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 663-89, April.
  2. Mark Satterthwaite & Artyom Shneyerov, 2007. "Dynamic Matching, Two-Sided Incomplete Information, and Participation Costs: Existence and Convergence to Perfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 155-200, 01.
  3. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  4. Sattinger, Michael, 1995. "Search and the Efficient Assignment of Workers to Jobs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, May.
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  7. Adachi, Hiroyuki, 2003. "A search model of two-sided matching under nontransferable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 182-198, December.
  8. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1993. "A Generalized Theorem of the Maximum," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 99-107, January.
  9. Dirk Hofmann & Salmai Qari, 2011. "The Law of Attraction: Bilateral Search and Horizontal Heterogeneity," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-017, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  10. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2012. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-455, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  11. Gale, Douglas M, 1986. "Bargaining and Competition Part I: Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 785-806, July.
  12. Eeckhout, Jan, 1999. "Bilateral Search and Vertical Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 869-87, November.
  13. Michael M. Knetter & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Measuring Product-Market Integration," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 15-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Baron, David P., 1989. "Design of regulatory mechanisms and institutions," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1347-1447 Elsevier.
  15. Gianni De Fraja & Jozsef Sakovics, 2001. "Walras Retrouve: Decentralized Trading Mechanisms and the Competitive Price," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 842-863, August.
  16. Simon Clark, 2007. "Matching and Sorting when Like Attracts Like," ESE Discussion Papers 171, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  17. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
  18. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1985. "Equilibrium in a Market with Sequential Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1133-50, September.
  19. Stephan Lauermann & Georg Nöldeke, 2012. "Stable Marriages and Search Frictions," Working papers 2012/10, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  20. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  21. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
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