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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. 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.
  2. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1993. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," Papers 42, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  5. Ngai, Liwa Rachel & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2013. "Hot and Cold Seasons in the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 9427, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Veronica Guerrieri & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2009. "Adverse Selection in Competitive Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 14915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gabriele Camera & Cemil Selcuk, 2009. "Price Dispersion with Directed Search," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1193-1224, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  11. 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.
  12. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  13. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2012. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-455, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  14. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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