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Price floors and competition

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Author Info

  • Martin Dufwenberg

    ()

  • Uri Gneezy

    ()

  • Jacob Goeree

    ()

  • Rosemarie Nagel

    ()

Abstract

A potential source of instability of many economic models is that agents have little incentive to stick with the equilibrium. We show experimentally that this may matter with price competition. The control variable is a price floor, which increases the cost of deviating from equilibrium. Theoretically the floor allows competitors to obtain higher profits, as low prices are excluded. However, behaviorally the opposite is observed; with a floor competitors receive lower joint profits. An error model (logit equilibrium) captures some but not all the important features of the data. We provide statistical support for a complementary explanation, which refers to how "threatening" an equilibrium is. We discuss the economic import of these findings, concerning matters like resale price maintenance and auction design.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 33 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 211-224

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:33:y:2007:i:1:p:211-224

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Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00199/index.htm

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Related research

Keywords: Price competition; Price floors; Bertrand model; Experiment; Luce model; C72; C92; D43; L13;

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References

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  1. Brown-Kruse, Jamie, et al, 1994. "Bertrand-Edgeworth Competition in Experimental Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 343-72, March.
  2. Rosenthal, Robert W, 1989. "A Bounded-Rationality Approach to the Study of Noncooperative Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 273-91.
  3. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2002. "Information disclosure in auctions: an experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 431-444, August.
  4. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2000. "Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 39-57, January.
  5. Asheim, Geir B. & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2000. "Amissibility and Common Belief," Research Papers in Economics 2000:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
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  7. Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1981. "On Nonbinding Price Controls in a Competitive Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 467-74, June.
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  12. Charles F. Mason & Owen R. Phillips, 1997. "Information And Cost Asymmetry In Experimental Duopoly Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 290-299, May.
  13. Harrison, Glenn W, 1989. "Theory and Misbehavior of First-Price Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 749-62, September.
  14. C. Monica Capra, 1999. "Anomalous Behavior in a Traveler's Dilemma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 678-690, June.
  15. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
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