Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Jean Guillaume Forand (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo) describes Competing Through Information Provision.
ABSTRACT: This paper studies the symmetric equilibria of a two-buyer, two-seller model of directed search in which sellers commit to information provision. More informed buyers have better differentiated private valuations and extract higher rents from trade.When sellers cannot commit to sale mechanisms, information provision is higher under competition than under monopoly, yet partial information is provided when sellers are price-setters. In contrast, when sellers commit to both information provision and sale mechanisms, I identify simple conditions under which sellers post auctions and provide full information in every equilibrium, ensuring that all equilibrium outcomes are constrained efficient. Sellers capture the efficiency gains from increased information and compete only over non-distortionary rents offered to buyers.