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Size doesn't matter! Gift exchange in experimental labor markets

  • Brandts, Jordi
  • Gërxhani, Klarita
  • Schram, Arthur
  • Ygosse-Battisti, Jolanda

We study how the number of traders affects the interaction between a centralized exchange and bilateral negotiations in an experimental labor market with excess supply and incomplete contracts. Our large markets are three times as large as our small markets. In bilateral negotiations firms obtain information about employees' performance in previous jobs. Though market forces put a downward pressure on wages in large markets, reciprocal tendencies do not differ. Hence, the occurrence of bilateral negotiations increases overall efficiency for both market sizes.

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

Volume (Year): 76 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 544-548

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:76:y:2010:i:3:p:544-548
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Plott, Charles R. & Smith, Vernon L., . "An Experimental Examination of Two Exchange Institutions," Working Papers 83, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322.
  5. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  6. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
  7. Brandts, Jordi & Riedl, Arno & van Winden, Frans, 2009. "Competitive rivalry, social disposition, and subjective well-being: An experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1158-1167, December.
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