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Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade

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  • Dimitra Petropoulou

Abstract

This paper presents a pairwise matching model with two-sided information asymmetry to analyse the impact of information costs on endogenous network building and matching by information intermedairies. The framework innovates by examining the role of information costs on incentives for trade intermediation, thereby endogenising the pattern of direct and indirect trade. Intermediation is shown to unambiguously raise expected trade volume and social welfare by expanding the set of matching technologies available to traders. Moreover, convexity in network-building costs is necessary for both direct and indirect trade to arise in equilibrium while the pattern of trade is shown to depend on the level of information costs as well as the relative effectiveness of direct and indirect matching technologies with changing information costs. The model sheds light on the relationship between information frictions and aggregate trade volume, which may be non-monotonic as a result of conflicting effects of information costs on the incentives for direct and indirect trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitra Petropoulou, 2007. "Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade," Economics Series Working Papers 370, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:370
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Pairwise Matching; Information Cost; Intermediation; Networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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