Learning in a Laboratory Market with Random Supply and Demand
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 â€œmark-downâ€ ratio of bids relative to private value and sellers' adjustment of the corresponding â€œmark-upâ€ 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 â€œobservational learningâ€ 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
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