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Market Organization

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  • Gerard Weisbuch
  • Alan Kirman
  • Dorothea Herreiner

Abstract

In standard economic theory, mechanisms like Adam Smith's "invisible hand" or the Walrasian auctioneer balance aggregate demand and supply and match individuals such that the market clears. Usually, some kind of price adjustment process is assumed without specifying how the implied transactions are organized. In real markets, price adjustment and the matching of buyers and sellers involve considerable exchange of information. Past experience plays an important role in partner selection and in deciding whether a suggested transaction is accepted or not. This implies a process of learning about trading partners and opportunities. The model suggested here, explains how this learning leads to market organization (loyality) or a lack thereof (searching). A decentralized market of a perishable good is considered, where past experience governs the choice of trading partner. Depending on how important past payoffs are and how long the memory is, and depending on the number of players in the market, buyers decide to search or to be loyal. The transition from searching to loyality is very abrupt and resembles phase transitions known from statistical physics. Simulations and empirical evidence from the Marseille wholesale fish market confirm the co-existence of the two behavioral patterns of buyers and the importance of past experience of their behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 95-11-102.

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Date of creation: Nov 1995
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Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:95-11-102

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  1. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. repec:att:wimass:9521 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. W. Brian Arthur & John H. Holland & Blake LeBaron & Richard Palmer & Paul Taylor, 1996. "Asset Pricing Under Endogenous Expectation in an Artificial Stock Market," Working Papers 96-12-093, Santa Fe Institute.
  4. Peter Diamond, 1985. "Search Theory," Working papers 389, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 1995. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions I: Theory," NBER Working Papers 5291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Weisbuch, G. & Kirman, A.P. & Herreiner, D., 1996. "Market Organisation," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a20, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  7. Arthur, W. Brian & Lane, David A., 1993. "Information contagion," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 81-104, June.
  8. Follmer, Hans, 1974. "Random economies with many interacting agents," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 51-62, March.
  9. Hardle, Wolfgang & Kirman, Alan, 1995. "Nonclassical demand : A model-free examination of price-quantity relations in the Marseille fish market," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 227-257, May.
  10. Orlean, Andre, 1995. "Bayesian interactions and collective dynamics of opinion: Herd behavior and mimetic contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 257-274, October.
  11. Nicholaas J. Vriend, 1994. "Self-Orgainzed Market in a Decentralized Economy," Working Papers 94-03-013, Santa Fe Institute.
  12. Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
  13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, September.
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