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Directed Search in the Housing Market

  • Susan Vroman

    (Georgetown University)

  • Pieter Gautier

    (VU University Amsterdam)

  • James Albrecht

    (Georgetown University)

In this paper, we present a directed search model of the housing market. The pricing mechanism we analyze reflects the way houses are bought and sold in the United States. Our model is consistent with the observation that houses are sometimes sold above, sometimes below and sometimes at the asking price. We consider two versions of our model. In the first version, all sellers have the same reservation value. In the second version, there are two seller types, and type is private information. For both versions, we characterize the equilibrium of the game played by buyers and sellers, and we prove efficiency. Our model offers a new way to look at the housing market from a search-theoretic perspective. In addition, we contribute to the directed search literature by considering a model in which the asking price (i) entails only limited commitment and (ii) has the potential to signal seller type.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 1370.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1370
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  1. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2006. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 452-484, June.
  2. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2007. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-298, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Antonio M. Merlo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," CESifo Working Paper Series 778, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  5. Chen, Yongmin & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1996. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 129-55, February.
  6. L. Rachel Ngai & Silvana Tenreyro, 2014. "Hot and Cold Seasons in the Housing Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3991-4026, December.
  7. James Albrecht & Pieter A. Gautier & Susan Vroman, 2006. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 869-891.
  8. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2010. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1823-1862, November.
  9. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  10. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  11. Belen Jerez & Antonia Diaz, 2009. "House Prices, Sales and Time on the Market: A Search-Theoretic Framework," 2009 Meeting Papers 1006, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Camera, Gabriele & Selcuk, Cemil, 2004. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1173, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  13. 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 1270-92, December.
  14. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  16. Paul E. Carrillo, 2012. "An Empirical Stationary Equilibrium Search Model Of The Housing Market," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 203-234, 02.
  17. 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, 05.
  18. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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