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Testing the boundaries of the double auction: The effects of complete information and market power

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  • Kimbrough, Erik O.
  • Smyth, Andrew

Abstract

We report boundary experiments testing the robustness of price convergence in double auction markets for non-durable goods in which there is extreme earnings inequality at the competitive equilibrium (CE). Following up on a conjecture by Smith (1976a), we test whether the well-known equilibrating power of the double auction institution is robust to the presence of complete information about traders’ values and costs and the presence of symmetric market power. We find that complete information is insufficient to impede convergence to CE prices; however, introducing market power consistently causes prices to deviate from the CE, whether or not subjects possess complete information. Our design highlights the value of boundary experiments in understanding how market institutions shape behavior, and our findings help delineate the limits of the double auction institution to generate competitive outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smyth, Andrew, 2018. "Testing the boundaries of the double auction: The effects of complete information and market power," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 372-396.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:372-396
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.01.017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Double auction; Market power; Institutions; Information; Experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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