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Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster

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  • Van Boening, Mark V
  • Wilcox, Nathaniel T

Abstract

The double auction trading institution has been highly efficient across diverse marginal-cost market structures, whether human subjects or 'zero-intelligence' robots populated those markets. Accordingly, many researchers suspect that double auction performance transcends market structure and agent strategy. But the authors show that large avoidable costs undermine the efficiency and stability of human subject double auctions and these low human efficiencies are simultaneously well above zero-intelligence efficiencies. Their results dramatically illustrate the potential havoc wrought by highly competitive institutions when they must cope with nonconvex technologies. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Van Boening, Mark V & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1996. "Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 461-477, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:3:p:461-77
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    Cited by:

    1. Elmaghraby, Wedad J. & Larson, Nathan, 2012. "Explaining deviations from equilibrium in auctions with avoidable fixed costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 131-159.
    2. Buchheit, Steve & Feltovich, Nick, 2010. "Experimental evidence of a sunk–cost paradox: a study of pricing behavior in Bertrand–Edgeworth duopoly," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-124, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. Micola, Augusto Ruperez & Bunn, Derek W., 2008. "Crossholdings, concentration and information in capacity-constrained sealed bid-offer auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(3-4), pages 748-766, June.
    4. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "Market power in tradable emission markets: a laboratory testbed for emission trading in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 469-491, October.
    5. Kyle Hampton & Katerina Sherstyuk, 2010. "Demand Shocks, Capacity Coordination and Industry Performance: Lessons from Economic Laboratory," Working Papers 201023, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Duffy, John, 2006. "Agent-Based Models and Human Subject Experiments," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1011 Elsevier.
    7. Koji Kotani & Kenta Tanaka & Shunsuke Managi, 2014. "On the fundamental performance of a marketable permit system in a trader setting," Working Papers SDES-2014-2, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Oct 2014.
    8. Araoz, Veronica & Jörnsten, Kurt, 2011. "Semi-Lagrangean approach for price discovery in markets with non-convexities," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 214(2), pages 411-417, October.
    9. Kenta Tanaka & Keisaku Higashida & Shunsuke Managi, 2014. "A laboratory assessment of the choice of vessel size under individual transferable quota regimes," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 58(3), pages 353-373, July.
    10. Noussair, Charles & Robin, Stephane & Ruffieux, Bernard, 1998. "The effect of transaction costs on double auction markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 221-233, August.
    11. Miller, Ross M., 2008. "Don't let your robots grow up to be traders: Artificial intelligence, human intelligence, and asset-market bubbles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 153-166, October.
    12. Varouj A. Aivazian & Jeffrey L. Callen & Susan McCracken, 2009. "Experimental Tests of Core Theory and the Coase Theorem: Inefficiency and Cycling," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 745-759, November.
    13. 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.
    14. Davis, Douglas D. & Williams, Arlington W., 1997. "The effects of nonstationarities on performance in call markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 39-54, January.
    15. Kenneth Button & Peter Nijkamp, 1997. "Network Industries, Economic Stability and Spatial Integration," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-047/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Larson, Nathan & Elmaghraby, Wedad, 2008. "Procurement auctions with avoidable fixed costs: an experimental approach," MPRA Paper 32163, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    17. Noussair, C.N. & van Soest, D.P., 2014. "Economic Experiments and Environmental Policy : A Review," Discussion Paper 2014-001, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    18. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi & McDaniel, Tanga, 2003. "Asymmetric Demand Information in Uniform and Discriminatory Call Auctions: An Experimental Analysis Motivated by Electricity Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 125-144, March.
    19. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel, 1996. "Price formation in double auction markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1307-1337, August.
    20. Vernon Smith, 2002. "Method in Experiment: Rhetoric and Reality," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(2), pages 91-110, October.
    21. Nathaniel T. Wilcox & Mark V. Van Boening, 2003. "Distribution and Dynamics in a Simple Tax Regime Transition," Working Papers 2003-02 Classification-C9, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
    22. Jacob K. Goeree & Luke Lindsay, 2012. "Designing package markets to eliminate exposure risk," ECON - Working Papers 071, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    23. Andrew Austin & Nathaniel T. Wilcox, 2002. "What Students Expect and What They See: Ideology, Identity and the Double Auction Classroom Experiment," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp194, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    24. Crowley, Steve & Sade, Orly, 2004. "Does the option to cancel an order in a double auction market matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 89-97, April.
    25. Koji Kotani & Kenta Tanaka & Shunsuke Managi, 2015. "Which performs better under a trader setting, double auction or uniform price auction?," Working Papers SDES-2015-17, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised May 2015.

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