International Economic Review, 2004, vol. 45, issue 1, 1-24
This article provides an equilibrium model of intermediation based on search theory. Intermediaries, like retailers, buy goods from producers and sell them to consumers. The number of intermediaries is endogenously determined by free entry. The size and composition of their inventories is also endogenous. Larger inventories make it more likely that a random customer will find something he likes, but are more costly to store. The distribution of prices is characterized. Conditions are given under which there are too many or too few intermediaries, and under which intermediaries are too big or too small, from an efficiency perspective. Copyright 2004 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.
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