IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/17227.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Costs of Free Entry: An Empirical Study of Real Estate Agents in Greater Boston

Author

Listed:
  • Panle Jia Barwick
  • Parag A. Pathak

Abstract

This paper studies the real estate brokerage industry in Greater Boston, an industry with low entry barriers and substantial turnover. Using a comprehensive dataset of agents and transactions from 1998-2007, we find that entry does not increase sales probabilities or reduce the time it takes for properties to sell, decreases the market share of experienced agents, and leads to a reduction in average service quality. These empirical patterns motivate an econometric model of the dynamic optimizing behavior of agents that serves as the foundation for simulating counterfactual market structures. A one-half reduction in the commission rate leads to a 73% increase in the number of houses each agent sells and benefits consumers by about $2 billion. House price appreciation in the first half of the 2000s accounts for 24% of overall entry and a 31% decline in the number of houses sold by each agent. Low cost programs that provide information about past agent performance have the potential to increase overall productivity and generate significant social savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Panle Jia Barwick & Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "The Costs of Free Entry: An Empirical Study of Real Estate Agents in Greater Boston," NBER Working Papers 17227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17227
    Note: IO PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17227.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven D. Levitt & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Market Distortions When Agents Are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-611, November.
    2. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo, 2006. "Measuring the Implications of Sales and Consumer Inventory Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1637-1673, November.
    3. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2011. "The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 211-251, January.
    4. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & Jonathan Levin, 2007. "Estimating Dynamic Models of Imperfect Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1331-1370, September.
    5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Victor Aguirregabiria & Aviv Nevo & Aviv Nevo, 2010. "Recent Developments in Empirical IO: Dynamic Demand and Dynamic Games," Working Papers tecipa-419, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    6. Jean-Pierre H. Dubé & Jeremy T. Fox & Che-Lin Su, 2009. "Improving the Numerical Performance of BLP Static and Dynamic Discrete Choice Random Coefficients Demand Estimation," NBER Working Papers 14991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Che‐Lin Su & Kenneth L. Judd, 2012. "Constrained Optimization Approaches to Estimation of Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2213-2230, September.
    8. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller, 1993. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 497-529.
    9. Vivek Farias & Denis Saure & Gabriel Y. Weintraub, 2012. "An approximate dynamic programming approach to solving dynamic oligopoly models," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(2), pages 253-282, June.
    10. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-672, November.
    11. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Alvin Murphy & Christopher Timmins, 2011. "A Dynamic Model of Demand for Houses and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 11-16, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    12. 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.
    13. Timothy Dunne & Shawn D. Klimek & Mark J. Roberts & Daniel Yi Xu, 2013. "Entry, exit, and the determinants of market structure," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(3), pages 462-487, September.
    14. Rutherford, R.C. & Springer, T.M. & Yavas, A., 2005. "Conflicts between principals and agents: evidence from residential brokerage," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 627-665, June.
    15. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
    16. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2009. "Empirical Applications of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, January.
    17. 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.
    18. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1999. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Radio Broadcasting," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 397-420, Autumn.
    19. Panle Jia & Parag A. Pathak, 2010. "The Impact of Commissions on Home Sales in Greater Boston," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 475-479, May.
    20. Han, Lu & Hong, Seung-Hyun, 2011. "Testing Cost Inefficiency Under Free Entry in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(4), pages 564-578.
    21. Peter Arcidiacono & Robert A. Miller, 2011. "Conditional Choice Probability Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models With Unobserved Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1823-1867, November.
    22. Chunrong Ai & Xiaohong Chen, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Models with Conditional Moment Restrictions Containing Unknown Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1795-1843, November.
    23. Xiaohong Chen & Demian Pouzo, 2012. "Estimation of Nonparametric Conditional Moment Models With Possibly Nonsmooth Generalized Residuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(1), pages 277-321, January.
    24. Susumu Imai & Neelam Jain & Andrew Ching, 2009. "Bayesian Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1865-1899, November.
    25. Peter Archidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Federico A. Bugni & Jonathan James, 2012. "Approximating high-dimensional dynamic models: sieve value function iteration," Working Paper 1210, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    26. John Rust, 1997. "Using Randomization to Break the Curse of Dimensionality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 487-516, May.
    27. Allan Collard‐Wexler, 2013. "Demand Fluctuations in the Ready‐Mix Concrete Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(3), pages 1003-1037, May.
    28. Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "The Costs of Environmental Regulation in a Concentrated Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1019-1061, May.
    29. Stephen P. Ryan & Mar Reguant & Meredith Fowlie, 2011. "Pollution Permits and the Evolution of Market Structure," 2011 Meeting Papers 1440, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    31. Patrick Bayer & Robert McMillan & Alvin Murphy & Christopher Timmins, 2016. "A Dynamic Model of Demand for Houses and Neighborhoods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 893-942, May.
    32. Vrinda Kadiyali & Jeffrey T. Prince & Daniel H. Simon, 2009. "Is Dual Agency in Real Estate Transactions a Cause for Concern?," Working Papers 2010-12, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    33. Victor Aguirregabiria & Pedro Mira, 2007. "Sequential Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 1-53, January.
    34. Katja Seim, 2006. "An empirical model of firm entry with endogenous product‐type choices," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(3), pages 619-640, September.
    35. Andriy Norets, 2009. "Inference in Dynamic Discrete Choice Models With Serially orrelated Unobserved State Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1665-1682, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Michael W. Walrath, 2016. "Entry Models Applied to Churches: Could Protestants use a Catholic Bishop to Solve Excess Entry?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 557-588, September.
    2. Derek Stacey, 2012. "Information, Commitment, and Separation in Illiquid Housing Markets," 2012 Meeting Papers 401, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Panle Jia Barwick & Parag A. Pathak & Maisy Wong, 2015. "Conflicts of Interest and the Realtor Commission Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 21489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ken Onishi & Naoki Wakamori & Chiyo Hashimoto & Shun-ichiro Bessho, 2016. "Free Entry and Social Inefficiency in Vertical Relationships: The Case of the MRI Market," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1001, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Paul Grieco & Hongsong Zhang & Shengyu Li, 2018. "Input Prices, Productivity and Trade Dynamics: Long-run Effects of Liberalization on Chinese Paint Manufactures," 2018 Meeting Papers 874, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Vivek Farias & Bar Ifrach & Gabriel Weintraub, 2012. "A Framework for Dynamic Oligopoly in Concentrated Industries," 2012 Meeting Papers 505, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. repec:bla:jindec:v:65:y:2017:i:2:p:439-468 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:aea:aejapp:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:191-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Myrto Kalouptsidi, 2014. "Detection and Impact of Industrial Subsidies: The Case of World Shipbuilding," NBER Working Papers 20119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lingxiao Li & Abdullah Yavas, 2015. "The Impact of a Multiple Listing Service," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 471-506, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
    • L8 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services
    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17227. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.