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Heterogeneity as a coordination device

  • Melvyn G. Coles
  • Jan Eeckhout

A model of directed search with a finite number of buyers and sellers is considered, where sellers compete in direct mechanisms. Buyer heterogeneity and Nash equilibrium results in perfect sorting. The restriction to complementary inputs, that the match value function Q is supermodular, in addition coordinates the sellers’ strategies. In that case, equilibrium implements positive assortative matching, which is efficient and consistent with the stable (cooperative equilibrium) outcome. This provides a non-cooperative and decentralized solution for the Assignment Game. Conversely, if buyers are identical, no such coordination is possible, and there is a continuum of equilibria, one of which exhibits price posting, another yields competition in auctions.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/510.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 510.

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Date of creation: Feb 2000
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:510
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
  2. Roth,Alvin E. & Sotomayor,Marilda A. Oliveira, 1992. "Two-Sided Matching," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521437882, June.
  3. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  4. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Biais, Bruno & Martimort, David & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1998. "Competing Mechanisms in a Commun Value Environment," IDEI Working Papers 75, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  6. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Discussion Papers 1259, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  8. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  9. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  10. Jan Eeckhout, 1996. "Bilateral Search and Vertical Heterogeneity," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 315, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  11. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  12. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
  13. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
  14. Benoît Julien & John Kennes & Ian King, 2002. "Auctions Beat Posted Prices in a Small Market," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(4), pages 548-, December.
  15. Tjalling C. Koopmans & Martin J. Beckmann, 1955. "Assignment Problems and the Location of Economic Activities," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 4, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 1998. "Pricing with frictions," Working Papers 98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  17. Burguet, Roberto & Sakovics, Jozsef, 1999. "Imperfect Competition in Auction Designs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 231-47, February.
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