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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. Dirk & Juuso Valimaki, 1998. "Dynamic Common Agency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1206, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. McAfee, R Preston, 1993. "Mechanism Design by Competing Sellers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(6), pages 1281-1312, November.
  3. 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 752-69, August.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  5. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2a, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 1998. "Pricing with frictions," Working Papers 98-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Michael Peters & Sergei Severinov, 1995. "Competition Among Sellers who offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Working Papers peters-95-02, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 869-87, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Peters, Michael, 1991. "Ex Ante Price Offers in Matching Games Non-steady States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1425-54, September.
  13. 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.
  14. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  15. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-42, July.
  16. 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.
  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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