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Social Learning in Market Games

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  • Carlo Altavilla

    ()

  • Luigi Luini

    ()

  • Patrizia Sbriglia

    ()

Abstract

The aim of our experiments is to test the effect of different information settings on firms’ behaviour in duopoly price and quantity games. We find that, when players have full information on their rivals’ choices, the imitation rule prevails and such learning behaviour induces more competitive outcomes in the Cournot market designs. By the same token, when information on the average industrial profit is provided, there is evidence of an increase in cooperation, and the majority of players experiment with new strategies when their payoff falls below the average profit (F. Palomino and F. Vega-Redondo, 1999; H. Dixon, 2000)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Siena in its series Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena with number 003.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:usi:labsit:003

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Keywords: Learning; Cournot and Bertrand experiments;

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References

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  1. Debraj Ray & Dilip Mookherjee & Fernando Vega Redondo & Rajeeva L. Karandikar, 1996. "Evolving aspirations and cooperation," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  2. Antoni Bosch-DomËnech & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2003. "Imitation of successful behaviour in cournot markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 495-524, 04.
  3. Rosemarie Nagel & Nicolaas J. Vriend, 1999. "An experimental study of adaptive behavior in an oligopolistic market game," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 27-65.
  4. Luigi Luini & Carlo Altavilla & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2003. "Information and Learning in Bertrand and Cournot Experimental Duopolies," Department of Economics University of Siena 406, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  5. Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner, 2000. "The evolution of Walrasian behavior in oligopolies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-55, February.
  6. Oechssler, Jorg, 2002. "Cooperation as a result of learning with aspiration levels," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 405-409, November.
  7. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Sonnemans, Joep, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 973-97, October.
  8. Alos-Ferrer, Carlos, 2004. "Cournot versus Walras in dynamic oligopolies with memory," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 193-217, February.
  9. Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jörg & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Through trial & error to collusion," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,57, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  10. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2000. "Trial & Error to Collusion - The Discrete Case," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse6_2000, University of Bonn, Germany.
  11. 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.
  12. Herbert Simon, 1956. "A comparison of game theory and learning theory," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 267-272, September.
  13. Palomino, F. & Vega, F., 1996. "Convergence of Aspirations and (Partial) Cooperation in the Prisoners's Dilemma," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 345.96, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  14. Karl H. Schlag, 1995. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi-Armed Bandits," Discussion Paper Serie B 361, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1996.
  15. Dixon, Huw David, 2000. "Keeping up with the Joneses: competition and the evolution of collusion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 223-238, October.
  16. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
  17. Rassenti, Stephen & Reynolds, Stanley S. & Smith, Vernon L. & Szidarovszky, Ferenc, 2000. "Adaptation and convergence of behavior in repeated experimental Cournot games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 117-146, February.
  18. K. Schlag, 2010. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 454, David K. Levine.
  19. Schaffer, Mark E., 1989. "Are profit-maximisers the best survivors? : A Darwinian model of economic natural selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, August.
  20. Dixon, Huw David & Wallis, Steven & Moss, Scott, 2002. "Axelrod Meets Cournot: Oligopoly and the Evolutionary Metaphor," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 139-56, December.
  21. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
  22. Rhode, Paul & Stegeman, Mark, 2001. "Non-Nash equilibria of Darwinian dynamics with applications to duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 415-453, March.
  23. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  24. Dixon, Huw D. & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Somma, Ernesto, 2006. "Learning to collude: An experiment in convergence and equilibrium selection in oligopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 155-167, September.
  25. James D. Hamilton & Baldev Raj, 2002. "New directions in business cycle research and financial analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 149-162.
  26. Paolo LUPI & Patrizia SBRIGLIA, 2003. "Exploring Human Behaviour and Learning in Experimental Cournot Settings," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 111(3), pages 373-395.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Abraham, Martin, 2009. "Why reputation is not always beneficial: Tolerance and opportunism in business networks," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 908-915, December.
  2. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch'ng Kean, 2010. "Pre-play communication in Cournot competition: An experiment with students and managers," Economics Working Papers 2010,09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  3. Suetens, S. & Potters, J.J.M., 2007. "Bertrand colludes more than Cournot," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-302953, Tilburg University.
  4. Douglas D. Davis, 2008. "Behavioral Convergence Properties of Cournot and Bertrand Markets: An Experimental Analysis," Working Papers 0808, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  5. Bigoni, Maria & Suetens, Sigrid, 2012. "Feedback and dynamics in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 86-95.
  6. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.
  7. Matthey, Astrid, 2010. "Imitation with intention and memory: An experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 585-594, October.
  8. Niall O'Higgins & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2006. "Are Imitative Strategies Game Specific? Experimental Evidence from Market Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 011, University of Siena.
  9. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Tong Zhang & B. Brorsen, 2011. "Oligopoly firms with quantity-price strategic decisions," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 157-170, November.
  11. Till Requate & Israel Waichman, 2011. "“A profit table or a profit calculator?” A note on the design of Cournot oligopoly experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 36-46, March.
  12. Dixon, Huw D. & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Somma, Ernesto, 2006. "Learning to collude: An experiment in convergence and equilibrium selection in oligopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 155-167, September.

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