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Price dispersion in the housing market: the role of bargaining and search costs


  • Lisi, Gaetano


This paper develops a matching model à la Pissarides (2000) in order to explain the basic facts of housing markets, most of all the variance in house prices. Price dispersion is basically due to both the ex-ante heterogeneity of the parties and the search costs of buyers and sellers. In fact, sellers and buyers spend time and money before concluding the deal. Furthermore, the house price is substantially determined by bargaining between the parties. These factors affect the selling price and lead to price dispersion. This simple theoretical model is able to take these distinctive features into account, thus explaining the basic facts of housing markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Lisi, Gaetano, 2011. "Price dispersion in the housing market: the role of bargaining and search costs," MPRA Paper 33863, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33863

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. S. Wong & C. Yiu & M. Tse & K. Chau, 2006. "Do the Forward Sales of Real Estate Stabilize Spot Prices?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 289-304, May.
    2. Christopher A. Pissarides & Barbara Petrongolo, 2001. "Looking into the Black Box: A Survey of the Matching Function," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 390-431, June.
    3. Genesove, David & Han, Lu, 2012. "Search and matching in the housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 31-45.
    4. Jeffrey Fisher & Dean Gatzlaff & David Geltner & Donald Haurin, 2003. "Controlling for the Impact of Variable Liquidity in Commercial Real Estate Price Indices," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 269-303, June.
    5. Gabriel, Stuart A. & Shack-Marquez, Janice & Wascher, William L., 1992. "Regional house-price dispersion and interregional migration," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 235-256, September.
    6. C. Y. Yiu & K. F. Man & S. K. Wong, 2008. "Trading Volume and Price Dispersion in Housing Markets," Journal of Property Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 203-219, December.
    7. Charles K. Y. Leung & Garion C. K. Lau & Youngman C. F. Leong, 2002. "Testing Alternative Theories of the Property Price-Trading Volume Correlation," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 23(3), pages 253-264.
    8. Charles Leung & Youngman Leong & Siu Wong, 2006. "Housing Price Dispersion: An Empirical Investigation," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 357-385, May.
    9. S. Wong & K. Chau & C. Yiu, 2007. "Volatility Transmission in the Real Estate Spot and Forward Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 281-293, October.
    10. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
    11. Tristan-Pierre Maury & Fabien Tripier, 2010. "Strategies for search on the housing market and their implications for price dispersion," Working Papers hal-00480484, HAL.
    12. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, January.
    13. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    14. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-1292, December.
    15. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Zhang, Jun, 2011. "“Fire Sales” in housing market: is the house-searching process similar to a theme park visit?," MPRA Paper 29127, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2011. "Trading Frictions and House Price Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 283-303, October.
    17. Gaetano Lisi, 2011. "The Hedonic Price Function in a Matching Model of Housing Market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2347-2355.
    18. John P. Harding & John R. Knight & C.F. Sirmans, 2003. "Estimating Bargaining Effects in Hedonic Models: Evidence from the Housing Market," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 601-622, December.
    19. James Albrecht & Axel Anderson & Eric Smith & Susan Vroman, 2007. "Opportunistic Matching In The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(2), pages 641-664, May.
    20. Quan, Daniel C & Quigley, John M, 1991. "Price Formation and the Appraisal Function in Real Estate Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 127-146, June.
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    More about this item


    house prices; price dispersion; bargaining power; search frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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