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Pure Numbers Effects, Market Power, and Tacit Collusion in Posted Offer Markets

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  • Douglas D. Davis

    ()
    (Department of Economics, VCU School of Business)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of seller concentration and static market power on tacit collusion in extensively repeated laboratory posted-offer markets. Contrary to the implications of some earlier research, we find that tacit collusion does not become pervasive with extensive repetition. In a ‘strong no power’ design persistently competitive outcomes are observed in markets with three or four sellers. Even duopolies are frequently competitive in this design. Unilateral market power raises prices, as predicted. However, static Nash predictions fail to organize outcomes across power treatments, because tacit collusion moves inversely with concentration. Excess capacity appears to explain observed tacit collusion levels.

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File URL: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~dddavis/working%20papers/Davis_01_09_09.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by VCU School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0603.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision: Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:vcu:wpaper:0603

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Keywords: experiments; market concentration; market power;

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References

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  1. Deck, Cary A. & Wilson, Bart J., 2008. "Experimental gasoline markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 134-149, July.
  2. Durham, Yvonne & McCabe, Kevin & Olson, Mark A. & Rassenti, Stephen & Smith, Vernon, 2004. "Oligopoly competition in fixed cost environments," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-162, February.
  3. Douglas D. Davis & Bart J. Wilson, 2006. "Strategic Buyers, Horizontal Mergers and Synergies: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 0601, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Douglas D. Davis & Korenok Oleg & Robert Reilly, 2007. "Re-matching, Information and Sequencing Effects in Posted Offer Markets," Working Papers 0701, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2007.
  5. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Price competition and market concentration: an experimental study," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-22, January.
  6. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2009. "Posted Offer Markets In Near-Continuous Time: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 449-466, 07.
  7. Binmore, Ken, 1999. "Why Experiment in Economics?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F16-24, February.
  8. Plott, Charles R., 1989. "An updated review of industrial organization: Applications of experimental methods," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 1109-1176 Elsevier.
  9. Douglas D. Davis & Charles A. Holt, 1994. "Market Power and Mergers in Laboratory Markets with Posted Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 467-487, Autumn.
  10. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  11. Henrik Orzen, 2006. "Counterintuitive Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Discussion Papers 2006-22, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  12. Smith, Vernon L., 2002. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2002-7, Nobel Prize Committee.
  13. Cason, Timothy N. & Williams, Arlington W., 1990. "Competitive equilibrium convergence in a posted-offer market with extreme earnings inequities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 331-352, December.
  14. Alger, Dan, 1987. "Laboratory Tests of Equilibrium Predictions with Disequilibrium Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 105-45, January.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Andrei Y. Shastitko & Svetlana V. Golovanova, 2014. "Collusion in markets characterized by one large buyer: lessons learned from an antitrust case in Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 49/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  3. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2009. "Re-matching, information and sequencing effects in posted offer markets," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 65-86, March.

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