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Do forward markets enhance competition?: Experimental evidence

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  • Le Coq, Chloe
  • Orzen, Henrik

Abstract

Hedging risks is an important rationale for the existence of forward markets. However, Allaz and Vila (1993) show that duopolists can also have a strategic motive to sell forward, irrespective of exogenous uncertainties. Moreover, in their model the possibility of forward trading increases competitiveness between the two firms, raising consumer surplus and welfare. In this study we analyze the case of an n firm oligopoly in Allaz’ and Vila’s framework and derive comparative static predictions with regard to the market institution and the number of competitors. We then test the theoretical hypotheses in a laboratory experiment. Our findings support the main comparative-static predictions of the model but also suggest that, when compared to the increase in competitive pressure due to entry, the competition-enhancing effect of a forward market is weaker than predicted.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 61 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 415-431

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:61:y:2006:i:3:p:415-431

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References

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  1. 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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  8. Stanley S. Reynolds, 2000. "Durable-Goods Monopoly: Laboratory Market and Bargaining Experiments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 375-394, Summer.
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  11. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  12. Powell, Andrew, 1993. "Trading Forward in an Imperfect Market: The Case of Electricity in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 444-53, March.
  13. Jordi Brandts & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Arthur Schram, 2003. "Competition with Forward Contracts: A Laboratory Analysis Motivated by Electricity Market Design," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000172, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Phillips, Owen R. & Menkhaus, Dale J. & Krogmeier, Joseph L., 2001. "Production-to-order or production-to-stock: the endogenous choice of institution in experimental auction markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 333-345, March.
  15. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
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