DP12315 Directed Search: A Guided Tour
This essay surveys the literature on directed/competitive search, covering theory and applications in, e.g., labor, housing and monetary economics. These models share features with traditional search theory, yet differ in important ways. They share features with general equilibrium theory, but with explicit frictions. Equilibria are typically efficient, in part because markets price goods plus the time required to get them. The approach is tractable and arguably realistic. Results are presented for finite and large economies. Private information and sorting with heterogeneity are analyzed. Some evidence is discussed. While emphasizing issues and applications, we also provide several hard-to-find technical results.