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Competitive Behavior in Market Games: Evidence and Theory

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  • John Duffy
  • Alexander Matros
  • Ted Temzelides

Abstract

We explore whether competitive outcomes arise in an experimental implementation of a market game, introduced by Shubik (1972). Market games obtain Pareto inferior (strict) Nash equilibria, in which some markets are closed. We find that subjects do not coordinate on autarkic Nash equilibria, but favor more efficient Nash equilibria in which all markets are open. As the number of subjects participating in the market game increases, the Nash equilibrium they achieve approximates the associated Walrasian equilibrium of the underlying economy. Motivated by these findings, we investigate theoretically whether evolutionary forces lead to Walrasian outcomes in market games. We introduce a strong version of evolutionary stable strategies (SESS) for finite populations. Our concept requires stability against deviations by coalitions of agents. A small coalition of trading agents is sufficient for Pareto-improving trade to be generated. In addition, provided that agents lack market power, Nash equilibria corresponding to approximate competitive outcomes constitute the only approximate SESS.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 366.

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Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision: Mar 2009
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:366

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Duersch & Jörg Oechssler & Burkhard Schipper, 2012. "Pure strategy equilibria in symmetric two-player zero-sum games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 553-564, August.
  2. Dmitry Levando, 2012. "A Survey Of Strategic Market Games," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 57(194), pages 63-106, July - Se.
  3. Peter Duersch & Joerg Oechssler & Burkhard C. Schipper, 2010. "Pure Saddle Points and Symmetric Relative Payoff Games," Working Papers 104, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  4. Vasin, A., 2010. "Evolutionary Game Theory and Economics. Part 2. Stability of Equilibria. Special Features of Human Behavior Evolution," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 5, pages 10-27.
  5. Régis Breton & Bertrand Gobillard, 2006. "Robustness of equilibrium price dispersion in finite market games," EconomiX Working Papers 2006-10, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.

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