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What Price Coordination? The Efficiency-Enhancing Effect of Auctioning the Right to Play

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  • Crawford, Vincent
  • Broseta, Bruno

Abstract

A model is proposed to explain the results of recent experiments in which subjects repeatedly played a coordination game, with the right to play auctioned each period in a larger group. Subjects bid the market-clearing price to a level recoverable only in the efficient equilibrium and then converged to that equilibrium, although subjects playing the game without auctions converged to inefficient equilibria. The efficiency-enhancing effect of auctions is reminiscent of forward induction but is not explained by equilibrium refinements. The model explains it by showing how strategic uncertainty interacts with history-dependent learning dynamics to determine equilibrium selection. Copyright 1998 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Crawford, Vincent & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "What Price Coordination? The Efficiency-Enhancing Effect of Auctioning the Right to Play," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 198-225, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:88:y:1998:i:1:p:198-225
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Ghosh, Sudeep, 2011. "An experimental investigation of entry cost effects in sealed-bid dollar auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 122-124, May.
    2. Bednar, Jenna & Chen, Yan & Liu, Tracy Xiao & Page, Scott, 2012. "Behavioral spillovers and cognitive load in multiple games: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 12-31.
    3. Francesco Feri & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination—Large-Scale Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1892-1912, September.
    4. Offerman, T.J.S. & Potters, J.J.M., 2000. "Does Auctioning of Entry Licences Affect Consumers Prices? An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper 2000-53, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
    6. Blume, Andreas & Ortmann, Andreas, 2007. "The effects of costless pre-play communication: Experimental evidence from games with Pareto-ranked equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 274-290, January.
    7. John Smith, 2012. "The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 11(2), pages 235-256, December.
    8. Janssen, Maarten C.W., 2006. "Auctions as coordination devices," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 517-532, April.
    9. Choo, Lawrence, 2016. "Market competition for decision rights: An experiment based on the “Hat Puzzle Problem”," MPRA Paper 73408, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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