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Search Frictions and Market Power in Negotiated Price Markets

  • Jason Allen
  • Robert Clark
  • Jean-François Houde

This paper develops and estimates a search and bargaining model designed to measure the welfare loss associated with frictions in oligopoly markets with negotiated prices. We use the model to quantify the consumer surplus loss induced by the presence of search frictions in the Canadian mortgage market, and evaluate the relative importance of market power, inefficient allocation, and direct search costs in explaining the loss. Our results suggest that search frictions reduce consumer surplus by almost $20 per month per consumer, and that 17% of this reduction can be associated with discrimination, 30% with inefficient matching, and the remainder with the search cost.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19883.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19883
Note: IO
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  1. Han Hong & Matthew Shum, 2006. "Using price distributions to estimate search costs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(2), pages 257-275, 06.
  2. Matthew S. Lewis & Kevin E. Pflum, 2015. "Diagnosing Hospital System Bargaining Power in Managed Care Networks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 243-74, February.
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  5. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Babur De los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2009. "Testing Models of Consumer Search using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," Working Papers 2009-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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  12. Gregory S. Crawford & Ali Yurukoglu, 2012. "The Welfare Effects of Bundling in Multichannel Television Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 643-85, April.
  13. Wolinsky, Asher, 1987. "Matching, search, and bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 311-333, August.
  14. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-Fran?ois Houde, 2014. "The Effect of Mergers in Search Markets: Evidence from the Canadian Mortgage Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3365-96, October.
  15. Matthijs R Wildenbeest, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Search with Vertically Differentiated Products," Working Papers 2009-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  16. Dey, M. S. & Flinn, C. J., 2000. "An Equilibrium Model of Health Insurance Provision and Wage Determination," Working Papers 00-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  17. Meghan Busse & Jorge Silva-Risso & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2006. "$1,000 Cash Back: The Pass-Through of Auto Manufacturer Promotions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1253-1270, September.
  18. Chatterjee, Kalyan & Lee, Ching Chyi, 1998. "Bargaining and Search with Incomplete Information about Outside Options," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 203-237, February.
  19. Fiona Scott Morton & Florian Zettelmeyer & Jorge Silva-Risso, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 501-519 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Jason Allen & Robert Clark & Jean-François Houde, 2014. "Price Dispersion in Mortgage Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 377-416, 09.
  21. Maarten C. W. Janssen & José Luis Moraga-González, 2004. "Strategic Pricing, Consumer Search and the Number of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1089-1118, October.
  22. Dell'Ariccia, Giovanni & Marquez, Robert, 2004. "Information and bank credit allocation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 185-214, April.
  23. Susan E. Woodward & Robert E. Hall, 2010. "Diagnosing Consumer Confusion and Sub-Optimal Shopping Effort: Theory and Mortgage-Market Evidence," NBER Working Papers 16007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Matthew Grennan, 2013. "Price Discrimination and Bargaining: Empirical Evidence from Medical Devices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 145-77, February.
  25. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Ezra Friedman & Robert Marquez, 1999. "Adverse Selection as a Barrier to Entry in the Banking Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(3), pages 515-534, Autumn.
  26. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1996. "Dealer Price Discrimination in New Car Purchases: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 622-54, June.
  27. Ali Hortaç Su & Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Differentiation, Search Costs, And Competition in the Mutual Fund Industry: A Case Study of S&P 500 Index Funds," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 403-456, May.
  28. Morton, Fiona Scott & Zettelmeyer, Florian & Silva-Risso, Jorge, 2001. "Internet Car Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 501-19, December.
  29. Gautam Gowrisankaran & Aviv Nevo & Robert Town, 2013. "Mergers When Prices are Negotiated: Evidence from the Hospital Industry," NBER Working Papers 18875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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