Buyers, Sellers and Middlemen: Variations on Search-Theoretic Themes
We study bilateral exchange, both direct trade, and indirect trade that happens through chains of intermediaries, or middlemen. We develop a model of this activity and present a sequence of applications. We illustrate how, and how many, intermediaries get involved, and how the terms of trade are determined. We discuss the roles of buyers and sellers in bilateral exchange, and how to interpret prices. We develop a particular bargaining solution and discuss how it relates to other solutions. We also illustrate how bubbles can emerge in the value of inventories.
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