IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Information Externalities and Intermediaries in Frictional Search Markets

  • Xianwen Shi
  • Aloysius Siow

In frictional matching markets, buyers incur discrete inspection costs when assessing the suitability of goods on offer, and sellers incur discrete 'show' costs. This paper studies how intermediaries can help reduce these costs. Intermediaries, whose value derives from inventory, learning and memory, are shown to exist if goods are sufficiently heterogeneous. Intermediaries may either be firms that buy goods and hold inventory or brokers who search on behalf of their clients but do not buy or hold inventory. The parameter space, in terms of the ratio of inspection to show costs, naturally separates into two regions where firms exist versus where brokers exist.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Main Text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-398.

in new window

Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 21 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-398
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 978-5283

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Shouyong Shi, 1995. "Money and Prices: A Model of Search and Bargaining," Working Papers 916, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Camera, Gabriele & Delacroix, Alain, 2003. "Trade Mechanism Selection in Markets with Frictions," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1166, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  5. Alok Johri & Lohn Leach, 2000. "Middlemen and the Allocation of Heterogeneous Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-06, McMaster University.
  6. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer, 2007. "How Much do Real Estate Brokers Add? A Case Study," Discussion Papers 06-041, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Alp E. Atakan, 2006. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 667-680, 05.
  8. Francois Ortalo-Magne & Aviv Nevo & Igal Hendel, 2007. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus," 2007 Meeting Papers 89, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Thomas Gehrig, 1993. "Intermediation in Search Markets," Discussion Papers 1058, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. John Rust & George Hall, 2002. "Middlemen versus Market Makers: A Theory of Competitive Exchange," NBER Working Papers 8883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Edward A. Baryla & Leonard V. Zumpano, 1995. "Buyer Search Duration in the Residential Real Estate Market: The Role of the Real Estate Agent," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14.
  12. Spulber, Daniel F, 1996. "Market Making by Price-Setting Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(4), pages 559-80, October.
  13. Morgan, Peter & Manning, Richard, 1985. "Optimal Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(4), pages 923-44, July.
  14. Li, Yiting, 1998. "Middlemen and private information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 131-159, June.
  15. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
  16. Jeffrey H. Fischer & Joseph E. Harrington Jr., 1996. "Product Variety and Firm Agglomeration," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 281-309, Summer.
  17. Trejos, Alberto & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Search, Bargaining, Money, and Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 118-41, February.
  18. Gary Biglaiser, 1993. "Middlemen as Experts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 212-223, Summer.
  19. Asher Wolinsky, 1983. "Retail Trade Concentration Due to Consumers' Imperfect Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 275-282, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-398. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (RePEc Maintainer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.