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Learning and Noisy Equilibrium Behavior in an Experimental Study of Imperfect Price Competition

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  • C. Monica Capra

    (Washington and Lee University, USA)

  • Jacob K Goeree

    (University of Virginia, USA, and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Rosario Gomez

    (University of Malaga, Spain; University of Virginia, USA)

  • Charles A Holt

    (University of Virginia, USA)

Abstract

We consider a duopoly pricing game with a unique Bertrand-Nash equilibrium. The high-price firm has a nonvanishing market share, however, and intuition suggests that observed prices may be positively related to this market share. This relationship is implied by a model in which players make noisy (logit) best responses to expected payoff differences. The resulting logit equilibrium model was used to design an experiment in which the high-price firm's market share varies. The model accurately predicts the final-period price averages. A naive learning model predicts the observed differences in the time paths of average prices. Copyright Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association

Suggested Citation

  • C. Monica Capra & Jacob K Goeree & Rosario Gomez & Charles A Holt, 2002. "Learning and Noisy Equilibrium Behavior in an Experimental Study of Imperfect Price Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 613-636, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:43:y:2002:i:3:p:613-636
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. C. Monica Capra & Susana Cabrera & Rosario Gómez, 2003. "The Effects of Common Advice on One-shot Traveler’s Dilemma Games: Explaining Behavior through an Introspective Model with Errors," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2003/17, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    2. Kubler, Dorothea & Muller, Wieland, 2002. "Simultaneous and sequential price competition in heterogeneous duopoly markets: experimental evidence," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 1437-1460, December.
    3. Schmutzler, Armin, 2011. "A unified approach to comparative statics puzzles in experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 212-223, January.
    4. Benaïm, Michel & Hofbauer, Josef & Hopkins, Ed, 2009. "Learning in games with unstable equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1694-1709, July.
    5. Cason, Timothy N. & Friedman, Daniel, 2003. "Buyer search and price dispersion: a laboratory study," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 232-260, October.
    6. Susana Cabrera & C. Monica Capra & Rosario Gomez, 2005. "Introspection in One-shot Traveler's Dilemma Games," Emory Economics 0504, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
    7. Charles A. Holt & Jacob K. Goeree, 1999. "Stochastic Game Theory: For Playing Games, Not Just for Doing Theory," Virginia Economics Online Papers 306, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    8. C. Monica Capra, 1999. "Anomalous Behavior in a Traveler's Dilemma?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 678-690, June.
    9. Ispano, Alessandro & Schwardmann, Peter, 2017. "Cooperating over losses and competing over gains: A social dilemma experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 329-348.
    10. Susana Cabrera & C. Capra & Rosario Gómez, 2007. "Behavior in one-shot traveler’s dilemma games: model and experiments with advice," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 129-152, June.
    11. Philip A. Haile & Ali Hortaçsu & Grigory Kosenok, 2008. "On the Empirical Content of Quantal Response Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 180-200, March.
    12. Enrique Fatas & Juan Mañez, 2007. "Are low-price promises collusion guarantees? An experimental test of price matching policies," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 59-77, March.
    13. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortacsu, 2005. "Are Structural Estimates of Auction Models Reasonable? Evidence from Experimental Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 703-741, August.
    14. Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2001. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1402-1422, December.
    15. Ed Hopkins, 2002. "Adaptive Learning Models of Consumer Behaviour (first version)," ESE Discussion Papers 80, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    16. Olivier Armantier & Nicolas Treich, 2006. "Overbidding in Independant Private-Values Auctions and Misperception of Probabilities," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-15, CIRANO.
    17. Timothy Cason & Daniel Friedman, 1999. "Learning in a Laboratory Market with Random Supply and Demand," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-98, August.
    18. Ralph-C. Bayer & Hang Wu, 2013. "Number of Sellers and Quantal Response Equilibrium Prices," School of Economics Working Papers 2013-15, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    19. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A. & Smith, Angela M., 2017. "An experimental examination of the volunteer's dilemma," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 303-315.
    20. Roger Waldeck & Eric Darmon, 2006. "Can boundedly rational sellers learn to play Nash?," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 1(2), pages 147-169, November.
    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. Gabriel Galand, 2009. "The Neutrality of Money Revisited with a Bottom-Up Approach: Decentralisation, Limited Information and Bounded Rationality," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 337-360, May.
    23. Brit Grosskopf & Ido Erev & Eldad Yechiam, 2006. "Foregone with the Wind: Indirect Payoff Information and its Implications for Choice," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(2), pages 285-302, August.
    24. Peeters, Ronald & Strobel, Martin, 2009. "Pricing behavior in asymmetric markets with differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 24-32, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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