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The Hayek Hypothesis in Experimental Auctions: Institutional Effects and Market Power


  • Davis, Douglas D
  • Williams, Arlington W


The authors report twelve market experiments utilizing a "seller market power" supply and demand structure where two of five sellers can unilaterally increase their profit by withholding supply. The data indicate that both the double auction and posted offer institutions result in traders extracting the bulk of the potential gains from exchange in the market; however, prices generally occur about the competitive equilibrium prediction. Market power, in the form of strategic supply withholding, does not appear to be responsible for the supracompetitive prices. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Douglas D & Williams, Arlington W, 1991. "The Hayek Hypothesis in Experimental Auctions: Institutional Effects and Market Power," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 261-274, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:29:y:1991:i:2:p:261-74

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William D. Nordhaus, 1980. "Policy Responses to the Productivity Slowdown," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 555, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity Growth and R&D at the Business Level: Results from the PIMS Data Base," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 134-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Minasian, Jora R, 1969. "Research and Development, Production Functions, and Rates of Return," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 80-85, May.
    4. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Link, Albert N, 1981. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing: Additional Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1111-1112, December.
    6. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Stern, Robert M & Baum, Christopher F & Greene, Mark N, 1979. "Evidence on Structural Change in the Demand for Aggregate U.S. Imports and Exports," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 179-192, February.
    8. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    9. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-565, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas D. Davis & Oleg Korenok, 2009. "Posted Offer Markets In Near-Continuous Time: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 449-466, July.
    2. Sherstyuk, Katerina, 2008. "Some Results on Anti-Competitive Behavior in Multi-Unit Ascending Price Auctions," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    3. Al-Ubaydli, Omar & Boettke, Peter, 2010. "Markets as economizers of information: Field experimental examination of the “Hayek Hypothesis”," MPRA Paper 27660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jim Engle-Warnick & Bradley Ruffle, 2006. "Buyer Concentration As A Source Of Countervailing Power: Evidence From Experimental Posted-Offer Markets," Departmental Working Papers 2006-12, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    5. Jason Shachat & Zhenxuan Zhang, 2017. "The Hayek Hypothesis and Long‐run Competitive Equilibrium: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 199-228, February.
    6. Lisa Posey & Abdullah Yavas, 2007. "Screening equilibria in experimental markets," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance Theory, Springer;International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics (The Geneva Association), vol. 32(2), pages 147-167, December.
    7. Bradley J. Ruffle, 2005. "Buyer Countervailing Power: A Survey of Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 0512, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    8. Katerina Sherstyuka & Dolgorsuren Dorjb & Gerard Russo, 2014. "Health Insurance and the Labor Market with Wage Rigidities: Insights from a Laboratory Experiment," Working Papers 201427, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    9. Davis, Douglas D. & Wilson, Bart J., 2008. "Strategic buyers, horizontal mergers and synergies: An experimental investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 643-661, May.
    10. Jay Corrigan, 2005. "Is the Experimental Auction a Dynamic Market?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(1), pages 35-45, May.
    11. Manahov, Viktor & Hudson, Robert & Hoque, Hafiz, 2015. "Return predictability and the ‘wisdom of crowds’: Genetic Programming trading algorithms, the Marginal Trader Hypothesis and the Hayek Hypothesis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 85-98.
    12. Timothy N. Cason & Shakun Datta, 2008. "Costly Buyer Search in Laboratory Markets with Seller Advertising," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1212, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    13. Cason, Timothy N. & Datta, Shakun, 2006. "An experimental study of price dispersion in an optimal search model with advertising," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 639-665, May.
    14. Elliott, Steven R. & Godby, Robert & Kruse, Jamie Brown, 2003. "An experimental examination of vertical control and cost predation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 253-281, February.

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