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More on Middlemen: Equilibrium Entry and Efficiency in Intermediated Markets
This paper generalizes Rubinstein and Wolinsky?s model of middlemen (intermediation) by incorporating production and search costs, plus more general matching and bargaining. This allows us to study many new issues, including entry, efficiency and dynamics. In the benchmark model, equilibrium exists uniquely, and involves production and intermediation for some parameters but not others. Sometimes intermediation is essential: the market operates iff middlemen are active. If bargaining powers are set correctly equilibrium is efficient; if not there can be too much or too little economic ...
Intermediation in Markets for Goods and Markets for Assets
We analyze agents' decisions to act as producers or intermediaries using equilibrium search theory. Extending previous analyses in various ways, we ask when intermediation emerges and study its efficiency. In one version of the framework, meant to resemble retail, middlemen hold goods, which entails (storage) costs; that model always displays uniqueness and simple transition dynamics. In another version, middlemen hold assets, which entails negative costs, that is, positive returns; that model can have multiple equilibria and complicated belief-based dynamics. These results are consistent ...
Buyers, sellers and middlemen: variations in search theory
We study bilateral exchange, both direct trade and indirect trade that happens through chains of intermediaries or middlemen. We develop a model of this activity and present applications. This illustrates how, and how many, intermediaries get involved, and how the terms of trade are determined. Bargaining with intermediaries depends on how they bargain with downstream intermediaries, leading to interesting holdup problems. We discuss the roles of buyers and sellers in bilateral exchange, and how to interpret prices. We develop a particular bargaining solution and relate it to other solutions. ...