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Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?

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  • Huck, Steffen
  • Normann, Hans-Theo
  • Oechssler, Jorg

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of information about rivals' actions on the competitiveness of experimental oligopoly markets. We compare two treatments: in one, firms are informed about their rivals' actions and profits. In the other, firms are only given some aggregate information about their rivals' actions (aggregate quantities, average price). We find that in markets where goods are strategic substitutes (Cournot) the first, full information treatment leads to a significantly higher degree of competition. This is in contrast to conventional wisdom in IO. However, in markets with strategic complements (Bertrand), we find no significant difference between the two treatments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 39-57

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:39-57

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
  3. Ronald Harstad & Stephen Martin & Hans-Theo Normann, 1997. "Experimental Tests of Consciously Parallel Behaviour in Oligopoly," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
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  5. Albaek, Svend & Mollgaard, Peter & Overgaard, Per B, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 429-43, December.
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  7. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
  8. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  9. Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
  10. Abbink, Klaus & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1995. "RatImage - research Assistance Toolbox for Computer-Aided Human Behavior Experiments," Discussion Paper Serie B 325, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. Vives, Xavier, 1984. "Duopoly information equilibrium: Cournot and bertrand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 71-94, October.
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