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Competitive behavior in market games: Evidence and theory

  • Duffy, John
  • Matros, Alexander
  • Temzelides, Ted

We explore whether competitive outcomes arise in an experimental implementation of a market game, introduced by Shubik (1973) [21]. Market games obtain Pareto inferior (strict) Nash equilibria, in which some or possibly all markets are closed. We find that subjects do not coordinate on autarkic Nash equilibria, but favor more efficient Nash equilibria in which all markets are open. As the number of subjects participating in the market game increases, the Nash equilibrium they achieve approximates the associated competitive equilibrium of the underlying economy. Motivated by these findings, we provide a theoretical argument for why evolutionary forces can lead to competitive outcomes in market games.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 146 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 1437-1463

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:146:y:2011:i:4:p:1437-1463
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Dubey, Pradeep & Shubik, Martin, 1977. "A closed economic system with production and exchange modelled as a game of strategy," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 253-287, December.
  2. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
  3. Peck, James & Shell, Karl & Spear, Stephen E., 1992. "The market game: existence and structure of equilibrium," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 271-299.
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  8. Shapley, Lloyd S & Shubik, Martin, 1977. "Trade Using One Commodity as a Means of Payment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 937-68, October.
  9. Holt, Charles A & Langan, Loren W & Villamil, Anne P, 1986. "Market Power in Oral Double Auctions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 107-23, January.
  10. Dubey, Pradeep & Shubik, Martin, 1978. "A theory of money and financial institutions. 28. The non-cooperative equilibria of a closed trading economy with market supply and bidding strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-20, February.
  11. Timothy N. Cason & Daniel Friedman, 1997. "Price Formation in Single Call Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 311-346, March.
  12. Schaffer, Mark E., 1989. "Are profit-maximisers the best survivors? : A Darwinian model of economic natural selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, August.
  13. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
  14. Ghosal, Sayantan & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Retrading in market games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 151-181, March.
  15. Mark A. Satterthwaite & Steven R. Williams, 2002. "The Optimality of a Simple Market Mechanism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1841-1863, September.
  16. Gale, Douglas M, 1986. "Bargaining and Competition Part I: Characterization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 785-806, July.
  17. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  18. Postlewaite, A & Schmeidler, David, 1978. "Approximate Efficiency of Non-Walrasian Nash Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 127-35, January.
  19. Friedman, Daniel & Ostroy, Joseph, 1995. "Competitivity in Auction Markets: An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 22-53, January.
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