Competitive behavior in market games: Evidence and theory
We explore whether competitive outcomes arise in an experimental implementation of a market game, introduced by Shubik (1973) . 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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