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Assessing the Performance of Simple Contracts Empirically:The Case of Percentage Fees

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  • Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer

Abstract

This paper estimates the cost of using simple percentage fees rather than the broker optimal Bayesian mechanism, using data for real estate transactions in Boston in the mid-1990s. This counterfactual analysis shows that interme-diaries using the best percentage fee mechanisms with fees ranging from 5.4% to 7.4% achieve 85% or more of the maximum profit. With the empirically observed 6% fees intermediaries achieve at least 83% of the maximum profit and with an optimally structured linear fee, they achieve 98% or more of the maximum profit.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer, 2012. "Assessing the Performance of Simple Contracts Empirically:The Case of Percentage Fees," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1163, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Han Bin Kang & Mona J. Gardner, 1989. "Selling Price and Marketing Time in the Residential Real Estate Market," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 4(1), pages 21-35.
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    6. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2009. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus FSBOMadison.com," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1878-1898, December.
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    8. Asher Wolinsky, 1986. "True Monopolistic Competition as a Result of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 493-511.
    9. Krishna, Vijay, 2009. "Auction Theory," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123745071.
    10. Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer, 2008. "Fee Setting Intermediaries: On Real Estate Agents, Stock Brokers, and Auction Houses," Discussion Papers 1472, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    11. Simon P. Anderson & Regis Renault, 1999. "Pricing, Product Diversity, and Search Costs: A Bertrand-Chamberlin-Diamond Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(4), pages 719-735, Winter.
    12. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
    13. Bajari, Patrick & Hortacsu, Ali, 2003. " The Winner's Curse, Reserve Prices, and Endogenous Entry: Empirical Insights from eBay Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 329-355, Summer.
    14. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2003. "Asymptotic Efficiency in Parametric Structural Models with Parameter-Dependent Support," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1307-1338, September.
    15. Ben Shiller & Joel Waldfogel, 2011. "Music for a Song: An Empirical Look at Uniform Pricing and Its Alternatives," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 630-660, December.
    16. Donald, S.G. & Paarsch, H.J., 1992. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation in Empirical Models of Auctions," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9211, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2015. "Brokers’ contractual arrangements in the Manhattan residential rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 73-82.
    2. Simon Loertscher & Andras Niedermayer, 2012. "Fee-Setting Mechanisms: On Optimal Pricing by Intermediaries and Indirect Taxation," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1162, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    brokers; simple mechanisms; percentage fees; real estate brokerage;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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