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Competition within firms

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  • Lisa Bruttel
  • Simeon Schudy

Abstract

We investigate the role of incentives set by a parent firm for competition among its subsidiaries. In a Cournot experiment four subsidiaries of the same parent operate in the same market. Parents earn a specific share of the joint profit and can choose how to distribute the remaining surplus (or loss). Results show that parents allocating profits equally among their subsidiaries reach outcomes close to collusion. However, almost half of the parent firms employ a proportional sharing rule instead. These groups end up with profits around the Cournot level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 62.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0062

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Keywords: Cournot Competition; Subsidiary; Subcompany; Experiment;

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  1. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  2. Huck, S. & Müller, W. & Normann, H.T., 2004. "Strategic delegation in experimental markets," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-140880, Tilburg University.
  3. Gary Bornstein & Uri Gneezy, 2002. "Price Competition Between Teams," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 29-38, June.
  4. Bornstein, Gary & Kugler, Tamar & Budescu, David V. & Selten, Reinhard, 2008. "Repeated price competition between individuals and between teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 808-821, June.
  5. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2008. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 297-320, 06.
  6. Ola Andersson & Erik Wengström, 2007. "Do Antitrust Laws Facilitate Collusion? Experimental Evidence on Costly Communication in Duopolies," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 321-339, 06.
  7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  8. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Burkhard C. Schipper & Philippe Raab, 2006. "Cournot Competition between Teams: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 626, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
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