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Heterogeneity as a coordination device

Author

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  • Melvyn G. Coles
  • Jan Eeckhout

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Melvyn G. Coles & Jan Eeckhout, 2000. "Heterogeneity as a coordination device," Economics Working Papers 510, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:510
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    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/510.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. Eeckhout, Jan, 1999. "Bilateral Search and Vertical Heterogeneity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 869-887, November.
    3. 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 548-548, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Bergemann, Dirk & Valimaki, Juuso, 2003. "Dynamic common agency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 23-48, July.
    6. 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.
    7. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-769, August.
    8. Bruno Biais & David Martimort & Jean-Charles Rochet, 2000. "Competing Mechanisms in a Common Value Environment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(4), pages 799-838, July.
    9. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
    10. 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 231-247, February.
    11. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
    12. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-942, July.
    13. 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 827-849, November.
    14. 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.
    15. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 1998. "Pricing with frictions," Working Papers 98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    16. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-1454, September.
    17. Moen, Espen R, 1997. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 385-411, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Deniz Selman, 2011. "Coordination Frictions and Heterogeneity in Markets with Bidding," Working Papers 2011/08, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    2. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher & Gábor Virág, 2011. "Market Power And Efficiency In A Search Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 85-103, February.
    3. Helland, Leif & Moen, Espen R. & Preugschat, Edgar, 2017. "Information and coordination frictions in experimental posted offer markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 53-74.
    4. Manolis Galenianos & Philipp Kircher, 2007. "Heterogeneous Firms in a Finite Directed Search Economy," PIER Working Paper Archive 07-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Melvyn G. Coles & Jan Eeckhout, "undated". "Efficient Job Allocation," Penn CARESS Working Papers f254df043aa954b9f2d76c248, Penn Economics Department.
    6. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Klaus Kultti, 2003. "About Market Structure," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 240-251, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; assignment game; directed search; supermodularity; truthful equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design

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