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Social learning in market games

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  • Altavilla, Carlo
  • Luini, Luigi
  • Sbriglia, Patrizia

Abstract

The aim of our experiments is to test the effect of different information settings on firms’ behaviour in duopoly price and quantity games. We find that, when players have full information on their rivals’ choices, the imitation rule prevails and such learning behaviour induces more competitive outcomes in the Cournot market designs. By the same token, when information on the average industrial profit is provided, there is evidence of an increase in cooperation, and the majority of players experiment with new strategies when their payoff falls below the average profit (F. Palomino and F. Vega-Redondo, 1999; H. Dixon, 2000)
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  • Altavilla, Carlo & Luini, Luigi & Sbriglia, Patrizia, 2006. "Social learning in market games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 632-652, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:61:y:2006:i:4:p:632-652
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    Cited by:

    1. Davis, Douglas, 2011. "Behavioral convergence properties of Cournot and Bertrand markets: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 443-458.
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Civility and trust in social media," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 83-99.
    3. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch'ng Kean, 2010. "Pre-play communication in Cournot competition: An experiment with students and managers," Economics Working Papers 2010-09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    4. Jan Potters & Sigrid Suetens, 2009. "Cooperation in Experimental Games of Strategic Complements and Substitutes," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 76(3), pages 1125-1147.
    5. Sigrid Suetens & Jan Potters, 2007. "Bertrand colludes more than Cournot," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(1), pages 71-77, March.
    6. Andreas Freitag & Catherine Roux & Christian Thöni, 2021. "Communication And Market Sharing: An Experiment On The Exchange Of Soft And Hard Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(1), pages 175-198, February.
    7. Robert S. Gazzale, 2009. "Learning to Play Nash from the Best," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-03, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    8. Cui Zhiwei & Zhai Jian & Liu Xuan, 2009. "The Efficiency of Observability and Mutual Linkage," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, July.
    9. Till Requate & Israel Waichman, 2011. "“A profit table or a profit calculator?” A note on the design of Cournot oligopoly experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(1), pages 36-46, March.
    10. Gomez-Martinez, Francisco & Onderstal, Sander & Sonnemans, Joep, 2016. "Firm-specific information and explicit collusion in experimental oligopolies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 132-141.
    11. Cédric Argenton & Radosveta Ivanova-Stenzel & Wieland Müller, 2023. "Cournot Meets Bayes-Nash: A Discontinuity in Behavior in Finitely Repeated Duopoly Games," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 460, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    12. Argenton, Cédric & Ivanova-Stenzel, Radosveta & Müller, Wieland, 2022. "Cournot Meets Bayes-Nash: A Discontinuity in Behavior in Finitely Repeated Duopoly Games," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264079, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Bigoni, Maria & Suetens, Sigrid, 2012. "Feedback and dynamics in public good experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 86-95.
    14. Jan Potters & Sigrid Suetens, 2013. "Oligopoly Experiments In The Current Millennium," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 439-460, July.
    15. Dixon, Huw D. & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Somma, Ernesto, 2006. "Learning to collude: An experiment in convergence and equilibrium selection in oligopoly," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 155-167, September.
    16. Matthey, Astrid, 2010. "Imitation with intention and memory: An experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 585-594, October.
    17. Abraham, Martin, 2009. "Why reputation is not always beneficial: Tolerance and opportunism in business networks," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 908-915, December.
    18. Tong Zhang & B. Brorsen, 2011. "Oligopoly firms with quantity-price strategic decisions," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 6(2), pages 157-170, November.
    19. Lisa R. Anderson & Beth A. Freeborn & Jason P. Hulbert, 2015. "Determinants of Tacit Collusion in a Cournot Duopoly Experiment," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 81(3), pages 633-652, January.
    20. Yiakoumi, Despina & Rouaix, Agathe & Phimister, Euan, 2022. "Evaluating capacity auction design for electricity: An experimental analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    21. Subhasish Dugar & Arnab Mitra, 2016. "Bertrand Competition With Asymmetric Marginal Costs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1631-1647, July.
    22. Niall O'Higgins & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2006. "Are Imitative Strategies Game Specific? Experimental Evidence from Market Games," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 011, University of Siena.
    23. Bruttel, Lisa V., 2009. "Group dynamics in experimental studies--The Bertrand Paradox revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 51-63, January.
    24. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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