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Price Setting in a Decentralized Market and the Competitive Outcome

  • Stephan Lauermann

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

This paper studies a decentralized, dynamic matching and bargaining market: buyers and sellers are matched into pairs. Traders exit the market at a constant rate, inducing search costs (frictions). All price offers are made by sellers. Despite the fact that sellers have all the bargaining power we show that they set competitive prices in the limit when frictions become small. Previous literature has restricted the sellers' bargaining power. We dispense with this restriction and show that the convergence result does not depend on the distribution of bargaining power. Our model allows us to isolate basic market clearing forces that ensure the competitive outcome in the frictionless limit. For the particular case of homogeneous sellers we characterize the equilibrium price by the familiar Lerner formula. We use this formula to provide comparative static results of the decentralized trading outcome with respect to the level of the search frictions.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in its series Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods with number 2008_06.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_6
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  1. Serrano, Roberto, 2002. "Decentralized information and the Walrasian outcome: a pairwise meetings market with private values," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 65-89, September.
  2. Adam Wong & Artyom Shneyerov, 2007. "Bilateral Matching and Bargaining with Private Information," 2007 Meeting Papers 1032, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Stephan Lauermann, 2008. "When Less Information is Good for Efficiency: Private Information in Bilateral Trade and in Markets," 2008 Meeting Papers 419, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. John Wooders & Diego Moreno, 2001. "Prices, Delay, and the Dynamics of Trade," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(7), pages A0.
  5. Rubinstein, Ariel & Wolinsky, Asher, 1985. "Equilibrium in a Market with Sequential Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1133-50, September.
  6. Gianni De Fraja & Jozsef Sakovics, 1999. "Walras Retrouve: Decentralized Trading Mechanisms and the Competitive Price," ESE Discussion Papers 36, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  7. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-80, January.
  8. M Ali Khan, 2007. "Perfect Competition," Microeconomics Working Papers 22207, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  9. Alp Atakan, 2007. "Competitive Equilibria in Decentralized Matching with Incomplete Information," 2007 Meeting Papers 213, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2005. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," NBER Working Papers 11307, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Satterthwaite, Mark & Shneyerov, Art, 2004. "Dynamic Matching,Two-sided Incomplete Information, and Participation Costs: Existence and Convergence to Perfect Competition," Microeconomics.ca working papers shneyerov-04-12-17-02-54-, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 17 Dec 2004.
  12. Samuelson, Larry, 1992. "Disagreement in Markets with Matching and Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 177-85, January.
  13. Yilankaya, Okan, 1999. "A Note on the Seller's Optimal Mechanism in Bilateral Trade with Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 267-271, July.
  14. Dale T. Mortensen & Randall Wright, 2002. "Competitive Pricing and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20, February.
  15. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  16. Stephan Lauermann, 2013. "Dynamic Matching and Bargaining Games: A General Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 663-89, April.
  17. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521643306 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Paul Milgrom & Ilya Segal, 2002. "Envelope Theorems for Arbitrary Choice Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 583-601, March.
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