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Do Forward Markets Enhance Competition? Experimental Evidence

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  • Le Coq, Chloé

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Orzen, Henrik

    ()
    (School of Economics, University Park)

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

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 506.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 22 Aug 2002
Date of revision: 01 Oct 2004
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0506

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Keywords: Cournot Competition; Forward Markets; Spot Markets; Experiments;

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  1. Rajnish Kamat & Shmuel Oren, 2004. "Two-settlement Systems for Electricity Markets under Network Uncertainty and Market Power," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 5-37, January.
  2. Newbery, D. M., 1997. "Competition, Contracts and Entry in the Electricity Spot Market," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9707, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Jordi Brandts & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Arthur Schram, 2008. "Competition with forward contracts: a laboratory analysis motivated by electricity market design," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 192-214, 01.
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  8. Steffen Huck & Wieland Müller & Hans-Theo Norman, 2000. "Strategic Delegation in Experimental Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 290, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  10. Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Stackelberg beats Cournot: On collusion and efficiency in experimental markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  11. 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.
  12. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  13. 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.
  14. José Luis Ferreira, 2001. "The Role Of Observability In Futures Markets," Economics Working Papers we015316, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  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.
  16. Hughes, John S. & Kao, Jennifer L., 1997. "Strategic forward contracting and observability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-133, November.
  17. Von Der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Long-Tern Contracts and Imperfectly Competitive Spot Markets : A Study of U.K. Electricity Industry," Memorandum 14/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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