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Strategic delegation in experimental markets

  • Huck, Steffen
  • Muller, Wieland
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

In this experiment, we analyze strategic delegation in a Cournot duopoly. Owners can choose among two different contracts which determine their managers' salaries. One contract simply gives managers incentives to maximize firm profits, while the second contract gives an additional sales bonus. Although theory predicts the second contract to be chosen, it is only rarely chosen in the experimental markets. This behavior is rational given that managers do not play according to the subgame perfect equilibrium prediction when asymmetric contracts are given.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 22 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 561-574

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:22:y:2004:i:4:p:561-574
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Guth, Werner, 1999. "Indirect evolution vs. strategic delegation: a comparison of two approaches to explaining economic institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 281-295, June.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
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  5. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
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  7. Ramon Fauli-Oller & Massimo Motta, 1996. "Managerial Incentives for Takeovers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 497-514, December.
  8. Fershtman, C & Gneezy, U, 1996. "Strategic Delegation : An Experiment," Papers 43-96, Tel Aviv.
  9. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  10. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. Javier M. López Cuñat & Miguel González-Maestre, 1999. "- Delegation And Mergers In Oligopoly," Working Papers. Serie AD 1999-03, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  12. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 0036, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  13. Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Stackelberg beats Cournot: On collusion and efficiency in experimental markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  14. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  15. Reinhard Selten, 1998. "Multistage Game Models and Delay Supergames," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-36, January.
  16. Kyle Bagwell, 1992. "Commitment and Observability in Games," Discussion Papers 1014, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
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