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Learning in a Laboratory Market with Random Supply and Demand


  • Timothy Cason


  • Daniel Friedman


We propose a simple adaptive learning model to study behavior in the call market. The laboratory environment features buyers and sellers who receive a new random value or cost in each period, so they must learn a strategy that maps these random draws into bids or asks. We focus on buyers' adjustment of the “mark-down” ratio of bids relative to private value and sellers' adjustment of the corresponding “mark-up” ratio of asks relative to private cost. The learning model involves partial adjustment of these ratios towards the ex post optimum each period. The model explains a substantial proportion of the variation in traders' strategies. Parameter estimates indicate strong recency effects and negligible autonomous trend, but strongly asymmetric response to different kinds of ex post error. The asymmetry is only slightly attenuated in “observational learning” from other traders' ex post errors. Simulations show that the model can account for the main systematic deviations from equilibrium predictions observed in this market institution and environment. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:2:y:1999:i:1:p:77-98
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1009981800289

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
    7. Mark A. Satterthwaite & Steven R. Williams, 1989. "The Rate of Convergence to Efficiency in the Buyer's Bid Double Auction as the Market Becomes Large," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 477-498.
    8. Selten, Reinhard & Joachim Buchta, 1994. "Experimental Sealed Bid First Price Auctions with Directly Observed Bid Functions," Discussion Paper Serie B 270, University of Bonn, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Timothy N. Cason & Daniel Friedman, 1997. "Price Formation in Single Call Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 311-346, March.
    11. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Friedman, Daniel, 1997. "Individual Learning in Normal Form Games: Some Laboratory Results," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 46-76, April.
    12. Garvin, Susan & Kagel, John H., 1994. "Learning in common value auctions: Some initial observations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 351-372, December.
    13. Rustichini, Aldo & Satterthwaite, Mark A & Williams, Steven R, 1994. "Convergence to Efficiency in a Simple Market with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1041-1063, September.
    14. Gode, D.K. & Sunder, S., 1991. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero Intelligence (Z1) Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," GSIA Working Papers 1992-16, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrique Fatas & Tibor Neugebauer & Javier Perote, 2006. "Within-Team Competition In The Minimum Effort Coordination Game," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 247-266, June.
    2. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2005. "Impulse balance equilibrium and feedback in first price auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 155-170, April.
    3. P.B. Rakhe, 2003. "Estimation of tax leakage and its impact on fiscal health in Kerala," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 347, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    4. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Investment and Disinvestment in Irrigation Technology – An Experimental Analysis of Farmers’ Decision Behavior –," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124532, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Rakhe PB, 2010. "Estimation of Tax Leakage and its Impact on Fiscal Health in Kerala," Working Papers id:3085, eSocialSciences.
    6. Andrew Schotter & Allan Corns, 1999. "Can Affirmative Action Be Cost Effective? An Experimental Examination of Price-Preference Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 291-305, March.
    7. Zhan, Wenjie & Friedman, Daniel, 2007. "Markups in double auction markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 2984-3005, September.
    8. Oprea, Ryan & Friedman, Daniel & Anderson, Steven T, 2007. "A Laboratory Investigation of Deferral Options," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt15t887m9, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    9. Neugebauer, Tibor & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Individual behavior of first-price auctions: The importance of information feedback in computerized experimental markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 183-204, January.
    10. Mathew B. Chylinski & John H. Roberts & Bruce G. S. Hardie, 2012. "Consumer Learning of New Binary Attribute Importance Accounting for Priors, Bias, and Order Effects," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(4), pages 549-566, July.
    11. Edward Cartwright & Anna Stepanova, 2017. "Efficiency in a forced contribution threshold public good game," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 46(4), pages 1163-1191, November.
    12. Heymann, D. & Kawamura, E. & Perazzo, R. & Zimmermann, M.G., 2014. "Behavioral heuristics and market patterns in a Bertrand–Edgeworth game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 124-139.
    13. repec:bla:jemstr:v:25:y:2016:i:4:p:1018-1039 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Charles F. Mason & Owen R. Phillips, 2016. "Imminent Entry and the Transition to Multimarket Rivalry in a Laboratory Setting," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 1018-1039, December.
    15. Ferraro Paul J & Vossler Christian A, 2010. "The Source and Significance of Confusion in Public Goods Experiments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-42, July.
    16. Steven T. Anderson & Daniel Friedman & Ryan Oprea, 2010. "Preemption Games: Theory and Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1778-1803, September.

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    experiment; call market; auction; bidding;


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