We investigate the role of search frictions in markets with price competition and how it leads to sorting of heterogeneous agents. There are two aspects of value creation: the match value when two agents actually trade and the probability of trading governed by the search technology. We show that positive assortative matching obtains when complementarities in the former outweigh complementarities in the latter. This happens if and only if the match-value function is root-supermodular, that is, its nth root is supermodular, where n reflects the elasticity of substitution of the search technology. This condition is weaker than the condition required for positive assortative matching in markets with random search. Keywords: Competitive search equilibrium, directed search, two-sided matching, decentralized price competition, complementarity, root-supermodularity, sorting
Sorting and Decentralized Price Competition
Econometrica, 2010, Vol. 78(2), 539–574. With Jan Eeckhout.
In search models with price competition the sorting of heterogeneous buyers and sellers depends on complementarities both in output and in search.
American Economic Journal - Macroeconomics, forthcoming 2022, with Michèle Belot and Paul Muller. In a field experiment, we study how job seekers respond to posted wages by assigning wages randomly to pairs of otherwise similar vacancies in a large number of professions. Higher wages attract significantly more interest, but still a non-trivial number of applicants only reveal an interest in the low wage vacancy - qualitatively in line with a directed search model with multiple applications and on-the-job search. Go to paper
Journal of Economic Literature, 2021 59(1): 90-148. With R. Wright,B. Julien, and V. Guerrieri. This survey presents a comprehensive overview of the directed/competitive search literature. Go to paper
Review of Economic Studies, 2019 86(4): 1411-1447. With Michèle Belot and Paul Muller. We develop and evaluate experimentally a novel tool that redesigns the job search process by providing tailored online advice about related occupations. Go to paper
Journal of Political Economy, 2009, Vol. 117(5), pp. 861- 913. In a directed search where workers apply for multiple jobs and are then allocated via a stable matching, efficiency arises at all stages. Go to paper
American Economic Review, 2015, Vol 105 (10), 3030-3060. With Leo Kaas. We propose a tractable competitive search model with heterogeneous multi-worker firms, and investigate firm growth and business cycles. Go to paper
Journal of Monetary Economics, 2008, Vol. 55, pp. 1054-1066. With M. Galenianos. We characterize price dispersion and welfare in a monetary model with private information: inflation is regressive even though the rich hold more money. Go to paper
Inferring Risk Perceptions and Preferences using Choice from Insurance Menus: Theory and Evidence
Economic Journal, 2021 131: 713-744. With Ericson, Spinnewijn &, Starc Demand for insurance can be driven by high risk aversion or high risk, and we show how to separate the two using observed market shares. Go to paper
Econometrica, 2015, Vol 83 (5), 1849-1875. With K. Kim. [online appendix] We introduce cheap-talk into a market game and study if the equilibrium can replicate the constraint efficient allocation under (reserve) price posting. Go to paper