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Strategic delegation in experimental markets

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  • Huck, Steffen
  • Muller, Wieland
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

Abstract

In this experiment, we analyze strategic delegation in a Cournot duopoly. Owners can choose among two different contracts which determine their managers' salaries. One contract simply gives managers incentives to maximize firm profits, while the second contract gives an additional sales bonus. Although theory predicts the second contract to be chosen, it is only rarely chosen in the experimental markets. This behavior is rational given that managers do not play according to the subgame perfect equilibrium prediction when asymmetric contracts are given. --

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 561-574

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:561-574

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

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  1. Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Multistage Game Models and Delay Supergames," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-3, Nobel Prize Committee.
  2. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  3. Gonzalez-Maestre, Miguel & Lopez-Cunat, Javier, 2001. "Delegation and mergers in oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1263-1279, September.
  4. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 0036, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  7. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 1997. "Strategic delegation: An experiment," Discussion Paper 1997-26, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  8. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  9. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2000. "Perfect versus Imperfect Observability--An Experimental Test of Bagwell's Result," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 174-190, May.
  11. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  12. Lambertini, Luca & Trombetta, Marco, 2002. "Delegation and firms' ability to collude," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 359-373, April.
  13. Dufwenberg, Martin & Guth, Werner, 1999. "Indirect evolution vs. strategic delegation: a comparison of two approaches to explaining economic institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 281-295, June.
  14. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2001. "Stackelberg Beats Cournot: On Collusion and Efficiency in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 749-65, October.
  15. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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