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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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References

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  1. Michael L. Katz., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Economics Working Papers 91-172, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Stackelberg beats Cournot: On collusion and efficiency in experimental markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  4. Steffen Huck & Wieland Mueller, 1998. "Perfect versus imperfect observability---An experimental test of Bagwell's result," Experimental 9804001, EconWPA.
  5. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  6. 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.
  7. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri, 2001. "Strategic Delegation: An Experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 352-68, Summer.
  9. 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.
  10. Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Multistage Game Models and Delay Supergames," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-3, Nobel Prize Committee.
  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. 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.
  14. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "Two are Few and Four are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Oechssler, Jorg & Schuhmacher, Frank, 2004. "The limited liability effect in experimental duopoly markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 163-184, February.
  2. Björn Bartling & Urs Fischbacher, 2008. "Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility," TWI Research Paper Series 32, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  3. Armstrong, Mark & Huck, Steffen, 2010. "Behavioral economics as applied to firms: a primer," MPRA Paper 20356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Sacco, Dario & Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "Is there a U-shaped relation between competition and investment?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 65-73, January.
  5. Le Coq, Chloe & Orzen, Henrik, 2006. "Do forward markets enhance competition?: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 415-431, November.
  6. Philippe Raab & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2004. "Cournot Competition between Teams: An Experimental Study," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse13_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Ricardo Biscaia & Paula Sarmento, 2013. "Location Decisions in a Natural Resource Model of Cournot Competition," FEP Working Papers 509, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  8. Dirk Engelmann & Hans-Theo Normann, 2003. "An Experimental Test of Strategic Trade Policy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp212, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  9. Lisa Bruttel & Simeon Schudy, 2010. "Competition within firms," TWI Research Paper Series 62, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  10. John S. Heywood & Guangliang Ye, 2009. "Delegation in a mixed oligopoly: the case of multiple private firms," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 71-82.
  11. Nikolaos Georgantz�s & Constantine Manasakis & Evangelos Mitrokostas & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2008. "Strategic delegation in experimental duopolies with endogenous incentive contracts," Working Papers 0809, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  12. Iván Barreda-Tarrazona & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Constantine Manasakis & Evangelos Mitrokostas & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2012. "Managerial compensation contracts in quantity-setting duopoly," Working Papers 2012/17, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  13. Lai, Ernest K. & Lim, Wooyoung, 2012. "Authority and communication in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 541-560.
  14. Du, Ninghua & Heywood, John S. & Ye, Guangliang, 2013. "Strategic delegation in an experimental mixed duopoly," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 91-100.

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