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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. Alain Delacroix & Shouyong Shi, 2012. "Pricing and Signaling with Frictions," Working Papers tecipa-455, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  2. 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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  4. François Ortalo-Magné & Antonio Merlo, 2002. "Bargaining over Residential Real Estate: Evidence from England," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-02, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  7. Albrecht, James & Gautier, Pieter A. & Vroman, Susan, 2003. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," IZA Discussion Papers 719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Chen, Y. & Rosenthal, R.W., 1993. "Asking Prices as Commitment Devices," Papers 42, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  9. L. Rachel Ngai & Silvana Tenreyro, 2013. "Hot and cold seasons in the housing market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 54251, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Guido Menzio, 2007. "A Theory of Partially Directed Search," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(5), pages 748-769, October.
  11. Krainer, John, 2001. "A Theory of Liquidity in Residential Real Estate Markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 32-53, January.
  12. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  16. George-Marios Angeletos & Christian Hellwig & Alessandro Pavan, 2005. "Signaling in a Global Game: Coordination and Policy Traps," Discussion Papers 1400, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  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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