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Joining a Queue or Staying Out: Effects of Information Structure and Service Time on Arrival and Staying Out Decisions

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Author Info

  • Darryl Seale

    ()

  • James Parco

    ()

  • William Stein

    ()

  • Amnon Rapoport

    ()

Abstract

We study a class of single-server queueing systems with a finite population size, FIFO queue discipline, and no balking or reneging. In contrast to the predominant assumptions of queueing theory of exogenously determined arrivals and steady state behavior, we investigate queueing systems with endogenously determined arrival times and focus on transient rather than steady state behavior. When arrival times are endogenous, the resulting interactive decision process is modeled as a non-cooperative n-person game with complete information. Assuming discrete strategy spaces, the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution for groups of n=20 agents is computed using a Markov chain method. Using a 2 × 2 between-subject design (private vs. public information by short vs. long service time), arrival and staying out decisions are presented and compared to the equilibrium predictions. The results indicate that players generate replicable patterns of behavior that are accounted for remarkably well on the aggregate, but not individual, level by the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution unless congestion is unavoidable and information about group behavior is not provided. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-005-0872-1
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 117-144

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:117-144

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: batch queueing; equilibrium solution; experiment; coordination;

References

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  1. Holt, Charles A, Jr & Sherman, Roger, 1982. "Waiting-Line Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 280-94, April.
  2. Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Parco, James E. & Seale, Darryl A., 2004. "Equilibrium play in single-server queues with endogenously determined arrival times," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 67-91, September.
  3. Naor, P, 1969. "The Regulation of Queue Size by Levying Tolls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(1), pages 15-24, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Otsubo, Hironori & Rapoport, Amnon, 2008. "Vickrey's model of traffic congestion discretized," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 873-889, December.
  2. William E. Stein & Amnon Rapoport & Darryl A. Seale & Hongtao Zhang & Rami Zwick, 2004. "Batch Queues with Choice of Arrivals: Equilibrium Analysis and Experimental Study," Experimental 0411001, EconWPA.
  3. Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami & Seale, Darryl A., 2010. "Endogenous arrivals in batch queues with constant or variable capacity," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1166-1185, December.

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