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Joining a Queue or Staying Out: Effects of Information Structure and Service Time on Arrival and Staying Out Decisions

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Listed:
  • Darryl Seale

    ()

  • James Parco

    ()

  • William Stein

    ()

  • Amnon Rapoport

    ()

Abstract

We study a class of single-server queueing systems with a finite population size, FIFO queue discipline, and no balking or reneging. In contrast to the predominant assumptions of queueing theory of exogenously determined arrivals and steady state behavior, we investigate queueing systems with endogenously determined arrival times and focus on transient rather than steady state behavior. When arrival times are endogenous, the resulting interactive decision process is modeled as a non-cooperative n-person game with complete information. Assuming discrete strategy spaces, the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution for groups of n=20 agents is computed using a Markov chain method. Using a 2 × 2 between-subject design (private vs. public information by short vs. long service time), arrival and staying out decisions are presented and compared to the equilibrium predictions. The results indicate that players generate replicable patterns of behavior that are accounted for remarkably well on the aggregate, but not individual, level by the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution unless congestion is unavoidable and information about group behavior is not provided. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Darryl Seale & James Parco & William Stein & Amnon Rapoport, 2005. "Joining a Queue or Staying Out: Effects of Information Structure and Service Time on Arrival and Staying Out Decisions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 117-144, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:117-144
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-005-0872-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Parco, James E. & Seale, Darryl A., 2004. "Equilibrium play in single-server queues with endogenously determined arrival times," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 67-91, September.
    2. Naor, P, 1969. "The Regulation of Queue Size by Levying Tolls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(1), pages 15-24, January.
    3. Holt, Charles A, Jr & Sherman, Roger, 1982. "Waiting-Line Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 280-294, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Delgado-Alvarez, Carlos A. & van Ackere, Ann & Larsen, Erik R & Arango-Aramburo, Santiago, 2017. "Managing capacity at a service facility: An experimental approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 259(1), pages 216-228.
    2. Rapoport, Amnon & Stein, William E. & Mak, Vincent & Zwick, Rami & Seale, Darryl A., 2010. "Endogenous arrivals in batch queues with constant or variable capacity," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1166-1185, December.
    3. Stein, William E. & Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A. & Zhang, Hongtao & Zwick, Rami, 2007. "Batch queues with choice of arrivals: Equilibrium analysis and experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 345-363, May.
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:261:y:2017:i:2:p:595-605 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Otsubo, Hironori & Rapoport, Amnon, 2008. "Vickrey's model of traffic congestion discretized," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 873-889, December.
    6. Anna Conte & Marco Scarsini & Oktay Sürücü, 2014. "An Experimental Investigation into Queueing Behavior," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-030, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

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