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Asking Prices and Inspection Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald Wolthoff

    (University of Toronto)

  • Lodewijk Visschers

    (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Benjamin Lester

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Abstract

When a seller with a single, indivisible good meets with potential buyers sequentially, the process of price determination often involves an asking price: the seller quotes a price at which he is willing to sell immediately, but he also allows bids below this price and can recall such bids after meeting with other buyers. In most models of trade, this pricing mechanism is either infeasible or sub-optimal. In this paper, we consider an environment where asking prices are a simple, yet natural trading mechanism that allows buyers and sellers to cope with certain trading frictions. We characterize equilibrium asking prices and allocations, establish that this allocation is constrained efficient, and then derive a rich set of testable implications that emerge from our theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Wolthoff & Lodewijk Visschers & Benjamin Lester, 2012. "Asking Prices and Inspection Goods," 2012 Meeting Papers 792, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:792
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Derek Stacey, 2012. "Information, Commitment, and Separation in Illiquid Housing Markets," 2012 Meeting Papers 401, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kennes, John & le Maire, Daniel & Roelsgaard, Sebastian T., 2020. "Equivalence of canonical matching models," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 169-182.
    2. Philippe Jehiel & Laurent Lamy, 2018. "A Mechanism Design Approach to the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(2), pages 735-760.
    3. James Albrecht & Pieter Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2016. "Directed Search in the Housing Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 19, pages 218-231, January.
    4. Auster, Sarah & Gottardi, Piero, 2019. "Competing mechanisms in markets for lemons," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 14(3), September.
    5. Lester, Benjamin & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2015. "Meeting technologies and optimal trading mechanisms in competitive search markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 1-15.
    6. Gomis-Porqueras Pedro & Julien Benoît & Wang Liang, 2018. "Competitive Search with Ex-post Opportunism," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17, January.
    7. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2014. "Efficient Entry in Competing Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3288-3296, October.
    8. Cai, Xiaoming & Gautier, Pieter A. & Wolthoff, Ronald P., 2017. "Search frictions, competing mechanisms and optimal market segmentation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 453-473.
    9. Derek Stacey, 2019. "Posted Prices, Search and Bargaining," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 33, pages 85-104, July.
    10. Lester, Benjamin & Visschers, Ludo & Wolthoff, Ronald, 2017. "Competing with asking prices," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), May.
    11. Erwan Quintin & Morris Davis, 2014. "Default When House Prices are Uncertain," 2014 Meeting Papers 246, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Peyman Khezr & Flavio Menezes, 2018. "Auctions with an asking price," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 47(4), pages 1329-1350, November.
    13. Han, Lu & Strange, William C., 2015. "The Microstructure of Housing Markets," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 813-886, Elsevier.
    14. Benjamin Lester & Guillaume Rocheteau & Pierre‐Olivier Weill, 2015. "Competing for Order Flow in OTC Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(S2), pages 77-126, June.
    15. Guerrieri, Veronica & Julien, Benoit & Kircher, Philipp & Wright, Randall, 2017. "Directed Search: A Guided Tour," CEPR Discussion Papers 12315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Ronald Wolthoff, 2018. "Applications and Interviews: Firms’ Recruiting Decisions in a Frictional Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(2), pages 1314-1351.
    17. Derek Stacey, 2015. "Advertised Prices in Decentralized Markets," 2015 Meeting Papers 1011, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Xiaoming Cai & Pieter Gautier & Ronald Wolthoff, 2015. "Inclusive versus Exclusive Markets: Search Frictions and Competing Mechanisms," Working Papers tecipa-545, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    19. Enrique Andreu & Damien Neven & Salvatore Piccolo, 2020. "Delegated Sales, Agency Costs and the Competitive Effects of List Price," CSEF Working Papers 573, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • 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
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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