Search Theory Workshop

Search Theory Group

The NYU Search Theory Workshop is held once a semester to discuss recent work that applies or develops the mathematical techniques and equilibrium analysis commonly known as Search Theory. The workshop provides a forum to foster interaction among researchers working in all fields.

Upcoming Workshop

Check back soon for upcoming workshops.

Past Workshops

April 28, 2017 ~ 9th NYU Search Theory Workshop

NYU hosted the 9th Search Theory Workshop on April 28, 2017. The conference was generously funded by the C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics. The program committee was formed by Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Ricardo Lagos, Venky Venkateswaran, and Basil Williams.

The conference consisted of five papers that covered applications of Search Theory to financial, labor, and monetary economics.

Ilse Lindenlaub (Yale) presented a model to analyze sorting in labor markets characterized by search frictions and random search, but where both workers and jobs have multi-dimensional characteristics. The paper offers a definition of multi-dimensional positive (and negative) assortative matching and provides conditions on primitives (technology and distributions) under which positive sorting obtains in equilibrium. It also conducts simulation exercises to quantify the errors in assessing sorting, mismatch, and policy by assuming that heterogeneity is one-dimensional when it is really multi-dimensional.

Tsz-Nga Wong (Richmond Fed) presented a paper that uses a mechanism design approach to identify the essential features of payment arrangements such as E-money technologies with exclusive participation or discretionary transferability of balances.

Briana Chang (Wisconsin) presented a study of a decentralized market in which advisors have conflicts of interest and compete for customers via information provision. The paper shows that competition partially disciplines advisers. The equilibrium features information dispersion and sorting of heterogeneous customers and advisers: advisors with expertise in more information sensitive assets attract less informed customers, provide worse information, and earn higher profits.

Chaojun Wang (Stanford) presented a paper in which core-periphery trading networks arise endogenously in over-the-counter markets as an equilibrium balance between trade competition and inventory efficiency. In equilibrium, a small number of firms emerge as core dealers to intermediate trades among a large number of peripheral firms, a prediction supported by evidence from the Bund and U.S. corporate bond markets.

Guido Menzio (Penn) presented a paper of asset intermediation as a pure rent extraction activity. In the model, agents meet bilaterally and at random, and differ with respect to their valuation of the assets and with respect to their ability to commit to take-it-or-leave-it offers. In equilibrium, agents with commitment (higher bargaining power) behave as intermediaries, while agents without commitment (lower bargaining power) behave as end-users. Among the interesting results, the paper finds that a decline in trading frictions leads to more intermediation and typically lower welfare, and so does a decline in the opportunity cost of acquiring commitment.

 

October 29, 2016 ~ 8th NYU Search Theory Workshop

NYU hosted the 8th Search Theory Workshop on October 29, 2016. The conference was generously funded by the C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics. The program committee was formed by Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Venky Venkateswaran, Gianluca Violante and Basil Williams.

The conference traditionally focused on search in financial and labor markets, with two presentations in the first area, and three in the second.

Laura Pilossoph (NY Fed) presented a paper with household search where both spouses search jointly for the best job opportunities. The spouses pool their income so an employed person provides insurance to the spouse, and this spouse can afford to wait for a better job offer. This mechanism positive sorting, a pattern which is observed in the data. Vincent Sterk (University College London) used several decades of the U.S. labor market data to examine whether there is empirical support for multiple steady states in the data. He concluded that there are at least two steady states, and that models which can generate such multiplicity perform better at explaining large fluctuations in the unemployment rate than models with a single steady state.

Thibaut Lamadon (University of Chicago) introduced a new technique for identifying sorting between firms and workers under reasonably weak assumptions and data requirements. The application to the Norwegian data revealed positive sorting despite the fact that the production function did not feature strong complementarity between worker’s and firm’s types.

Garth Baughman (Board of Governors) presented a model of search in the product market where customers sequentially search for multiple products. He characterized firms’ pricing decisions and showed that many of its aspects speak are consistent with empirical facts on the between and within stores price dispersion. Finally, our NYU student Sai Ma studied how the length of intermediation chain in the corporate OTC market, which arises endogenously within a market, affects bid-ask spread.

7thSearchtheorkyWorkshop

April 9, 2016 ~ 7th NYU Search Theory Workshop

On April 9, 2016, NYU hosted the 7th Search Theory Workshop. The conference was generously funded by the C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics. The program committee was formed by Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Edouard Schaal, Venky Venkateswaran, Gianluca Violante and Basil Williams.

The conference was organized around search in financial and labor markets. This time we gave an emphasis on papers with empirical applications. Nicholas Trachter (Richmond Fed) introduced a novel model of price dispersion where firms understand the trade-off between increasing the price of their products and losing their customers. This additional feature helps us understand cyclicality of markups and price dispersion. Christian Moser (Princeton) presented a puzzling fact: while in many countries income inequality is growing, Brazil has experienced a large decline. He shows that almost 70 percent of this decline can be attributed to a massive increase in the minimum wage. Mi Luo (NYU) explained how college debt affects labor market decisions of college graduates: a higher debt leads college graduates to take jobs with higher wages but with job satisfaction. Johannes Wieland (UC San Diego) developed a new empirical methodology to isolate business cycle reallocation from the secular labor reallocation. Applying this methodology to the U.S. data revealed an asymmetric effect where reallocation contributes to worse employment outcomes during recessions but not during expansions. Susan Vroman (Georgetown University) noticed that many job openings advertised in job website continue to exist even after the position has been filled which creates “phantom” vacancies. This generates a negative externality on job searchers who spend time applying to non-existing job openings.

The careful selection of papers was rewarded by a high attendance. Besides many NYU faculty and students, we also had participants from nearby universities and Federal Reserve Banks. We had lively discussions during presentations as well as breaks. As in the past, we welcomed presentations from young scholars, including our own PhD student.

 

6thSearchtheorkyWorkshop

October 10, 2015 ~ 6th NYU Search Theory Workshop

On October 10, 2015, NYU hosted the 6th Search Theory Workshop. The conference was generously funded by the C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics. The program committee was formed by Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Ricardo Lagos, Edouard Schaal, Gianluca Violante, Venky Venkateswaran and Basil Williams.

The conference featured two papers on search in the labor market, two papers on search in the financial market and one was an application of search in international trade.

Simeon Alder (University of Notre Dame) opened the conference with presenting an assignment model where worker’s ability is a complementarity with firm’s type. He used a rich data on firms’ profits and workers’ wages to estimate the degree of this complementarity.

Rasmus Lentz (University of Wisconsin – Madison) analyzed a model of human capital accumulation via training in a frictional labor market with on the job search and heterogenous firms. The rich structure delivered several new insights, including that training is decreasing in the extent of the labor market frictions.

Gregor Jarosch (Princeton) studied a model of asset trading where agents differ in their tastes for assets as well as frequency at which they meet other traders. He demonstrated that fast traders endogenously arise as intermediaries, and that their existence might be welfare-improving.

In the field of asset trading, Ali Shourideh (Wharton) presented an environment which suffered from adverse selection and featured imperfect competition. A novel insight which emerged from the analysis is that increasing competition is not always welfare-improving, especially when market power is not sufficiently concentrated or the adverse selection is not very severe.

Finally, Oleg Itskhoki (Princeton) revisited a question of how trade liberalization affects firms with different productivities. He showed that after opening to trade, not all low productivity firms exit the market as would be intuitive, which crowds out the entry of new high productivity firms.

 

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April 4, 2015 ~ 5th NYU Search Theory Workshop 

On April 4, 2015, The CV Starr Center for Applied Economics at NYU hosted the 5th Search Theory Workshop. The program committee was formed by Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Ricardo Lagos, Ilse Lindenlaub, Edouard Schaal, Venky Venkateswaran, and Gianluca Violante.

The conference brought together researchers in macroeconomics interested in the interaction among financial frictions, heterogeneity and search frictions. Yasser Boualam (University of Pennsylvania) presented a general equilibrium theory of bank lending relationships in an economy subject to search frictions and limited enforceability. Peter Norman (UNC) introduced a framework for studying interactions between finite number of buyers and sellers. Simon Mongey (NYU) explained how financial shocks and recruiting intensity affect labor market dynamics. Ben Lester (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia) provided insights into how heterogeneity in investors’ asset valuations interacts with search frictions. Shouyong Shi (Penn State) examined how market conditions affect markups and frequency of trade in a model with customer relationships.

The conference was well attended. Faculty and students from NYU and nearby universities engaged in stimulating discussions both during the presentations and informal breaks. The workshop welcomed presentations from young scholars: among the five presentations, one was by an NYU PhD student and one by a PhD candidate who recently accepted a position as an assistant professor.

 Photo credit: Leo Sorel (NYU Photo Bureau)

 

 

4th Annual Search Theory Workshop Photo

October 18, 2014 ~ 4th NYU Search Theory Workshop

The fourth NYU Search and Matching Workshop took place at NYU on October 18th, 2014 with the financial support of the CV Starr Center. As usual, the aim of the conference was to feature frontier research on frictions in the labor market, in goods markets, and in asset markets, drawing on the extensive expertise on our faculty in the field of search and matching, and to foster interaction between our students and faculty on the one hand, and faculty and students from the neighboring institutions on the other.

The conference featured presentations by Philipp Kircher (University of Edinburgh), Kyle Herkenoff (Minnesota), William Hawkins (Yashiva), Neil Wallace (Penn State, visiting NYU) and our own student Diego Anzoategui. Among the five presentations one was by an advanced Ph.D. student and one by a newly hired Assistant Professor, which reflects the organizers’ aim to keep the workshops open to new developments in the field.

The organizers (Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Ricardo Lagos, Ilse Lindenlaub, Edouard Schaal and Gianluca Violante of FAS Economics, and Venky Venkateswaran of Stern) were very satisfied with the presentations and attendance. The papers were of high quality, NYU’s own student participation was excellent. Discussion was lively, and participants – including students – seemed comfortable with asking questions, offering comments and taking part in the discussion.

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April 12, 2014 ~ 3rd NYU Search Theory Workshop

The third NYU Search Theory Workshop took place at NYU on April 12, 2014 with the financial support of the CV Starr Center. The biannual conference features frontier research on frictions in the labor market, goods markets, and asset markets, drawing on the extensive expertise of our faculty in the field of search and matching. The Workshop fosters interaction between NYU students and faculty, as well as between the NYU community and faculty and students from the neighboring institutions.
This spring’s conference featured presentations by Hector Chade (Arizona State University), Laura Pilissoph (Federal Reserve Bank of New York), Katsuya Takii (Osaka University), Adam Guren (Harvard University), and Rob Shimer (University of Chicago). The topics of the presentations included the role of information in the matching process, the role of statistical discrimination in generating long-term unemployment, incentives to invest in specific human capital in the presence of frictions, frictional housing markets, and markets with private information. The organizers (Katarina Borovickova, Boyan Jovanovic, Ricardo Lagos, Edouard Schaal and Gianluca Violante of FAS Economics, and Venky Venkateswaran of Stern) were delighted with the presentations and attendance. The papers were of high quality, discussion was lively, and participants – including students – seemed comfortable with asking questions, offering comments and taking part in the discussion.

2nd NYU Search Theory Workshop - October 5, 2013

October 5th, 2013 ~ 2nd NYU Search Theory Workshop

April 6th, 2013 ~ 1st NYU Search Theory Workshop