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Pure numbers effects, market power, and tacit collusion in posted offer markets

  • Davis, Douglas

This paper studies the effects of seller concentration and static market power on tacit collusion in extensively repeated laboratory posted-offer markets. Contrary to the implications of some earlier research, we find that tacit collusion does not become pervasive with extensive repetition. In a 'strong no-power' design persistently competitive outcomes are observed in markets with three or four sellers. Even duopolies are frequently competitive in this design. Unilateral market power raises prices, as predicted. However, static Nash predictions fail to organize outcomes across power treatments, because tacit collusion moves inversely with concentration. Excess capacity appears to explain observed tacit collusion levels.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 72 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 475-488

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:475-488
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Douglas D. Davis & Charles A. Holt, 1994. "Market Power and Mergers in Laboratory Markets with Posted Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 467-487, Autumn.
  2. Henrik Orzen, 2006. "Counterintuitive Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Discussion Papers 2006-22, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  4. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2009. "Re-matching, information and sequencing effects in posted offer markets," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 65-86, March.
  5. Plott, Charles R., 1989. "An updated review of industrial organization: Applications of experimental methods," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 1109-1176 Elsevier.
  6. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2005. "Posted - Offer Markets In Near Continuous Time: an Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 0504, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  7. Smith, Vernon L., 2002. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2002-7, Nobel Prize Committee.
  8. Dufwenberg, M. & Gneezy, U., 1998. "Price Competition and Market COncentration: An Experimental Study," Papers 1998-08, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  9. Alger, Dan, 1987. "Laboratory Tests of Equilibrium Predictions with Disequilibrium Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 105-45, January.
  10. Cason, Timothy N. & Williams, Arlington W., 1990. "Competitive equilibrium convergence in a posted-offer market with extreme earnings inequities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 331-352, December.
  11. Douglas D. Davis & Bart J. Wilson, 2006. "Strategic Buyers, Horizontal Mergers and Synergies: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers 0601, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Douglas Davis & Oleg Korenok & Robert Reilly, 2010. "Cooperation without coordination: signaling, types and tacit collusion in laboratory oligopolies," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 45-65, March.
  13. Deck, Cary A. & Wilson, Bart J., 2008. "Experimental gasoline markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 134-149, July.
  14. 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.
  15. Binmore, Ken, 1999. "Why Experiment in Economics?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F16-24, February.
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