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Behavioral Efficiency I: Definition, Methodology and Demonstration

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  • Ronald M Harstad

Abstract

Economic experiments conducted in laboratories employing an induced-values methodology can report on allocative efficiencies observed. This methodology is limited by requiring the experimenter to know subjectsf motivations, an impossibility in field experiments. Allocative efficiency implies a hypothetical costless aftermarket would be inactive. An outcome of an allocation mechanism is herein defined to be behaviorally efficient if an appropriate aftermarket is actually appended to the allocation mechanism and at most a negligible aggregate size of mutually beneficial gains is observed on the aftermarket. Methodological requirements for observation of behavioral efficiency or inefficiency are put forward. A simple field demonstration indicates when an increase in public good output can cover marginal cost in a mutually beneficial decentralization, without knowing valuations. Several empirical issues that arise with the methodology are noted.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0818.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0818

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  1. Zheng, Charles Zhoucheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Staff General Research Papers 12664, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Lei, V. & Noussair, C. & Plott, C.R., 1998. "Non-Speculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality Vs. Actual Irrationality," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1120, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  3. Harrison, Glen W. & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutström, 1995. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Discussion Paper Serie B 349, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  5. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  6. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
  8. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
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