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Monopoly Behavior, Decentralized Regulation, and Contestable Markets: An Experimental Evaluation

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  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Michael McKee

Abstract

This study provides a comparative experimental evaluation of several alternative approaches to the (single-product) monopoly problem. We contrast incentive-compatible decentralized regulatory mechanisms with notions of market contestability in a decreasing-cost environment. The decentralized regulatory mechanisms are found to be significantly more effective at restraining monopoly power than is allowing direct contestability. But the regulatory mechanisms examined require that the regulatory agency know the market demand curve (though not the industry cost curve). Since this is significantly more information than is required to implement direct contestability, an interesting tradeoff is suggested: does the greater efficiency in monopoly restraint provided by the regulatory mechanism relative to direct contestability outweigh the former's greater informational requirements?

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (1985)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 51-69

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:16:y:1985:i:spring:p:51-69

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Cited by:
  1. Utteeyo Dasgupta, 2009. "Potential competition in the presence of sunk entry costs: an experiment," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 203-225.
  2. Kelly, Frank S., 1995. "Laboratory subjects as multiproduct monopoly firms: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 401-420, August.
  3. Yan, Huibin & Friedman, Daniel, 2008. "An Experiment on the Core∗," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0jq48184, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  4. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2002. "Buyer Countervailing Power versus Monopoly Power: Evidence from Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Economics Papers 2002-W14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Jamie Brown-Kruse & Steven R Elliot & Rob Godby, 1995. "Strategic Manipulation of Pollution Permit Markets: An Experimental Approach," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-03, McMaster University.
  6. Kritikos, Alexander & Bolle, Friedel, 2004. "Punishment as a public good. When should monopolists care about a consumer boycott?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 355-372, June.

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