WP Global Economy 2023.03.24
This is a working paper.
This paper explores the relation ship between market accessibility and various participants’ welfare in an intermediated directed-search market. For a general class of meeting technologies, we provide a necessary and sufficient condition under which efficiency requires imperfect accessibility, such that each seller’s listing is only observed by some but not all buyers. We show that the platform optimally implements the efficient out come, but fully extracts surplus from the transactions it intermediates. We also find that in general, buyers prefer to minimize market accessibility, while sellers prefer a weakly greater accessibility level than that which is socially efficient. The efficiency of imperfect accessibility is robust to the introduction of a second chance for unmatched buyers to search.
Keywords: meeting technology, directed search, platform, intermediation, accessibility
JEL Classification: D83, J64, M37