Decentralized trade mitigates the lemons problem

Diego Moreno, John Wooders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In markets with adverse selection, only low-quality units trade in the competitive equilibrium when the average quality of the good held by sellers is low. We show that under decentralized trade, however, both high- and low-quality units trade, although with delay. Moreover, when frictions are small, the surplus realized is greater than the (static) competitive surplus. Thus, decentralized trade mitigates the lemons problem. Remarkably, payoffs are competitive as frictions vanish, even though both high- and low-quality units continue to trade, and there is trade at several prices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-399
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Economic Review
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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