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The East End, the West End, and King's Cross: on Clustering in the Four-Player Hotelling Game

  • Steffen Huck
  • Wieland M¸ller

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Humbold University Berlin, Spandauer Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany.)

We study experimentally a standard four-player Hotelling location game with a uniform density of consumers and inelastic demand. The pure strategy Nash equilibrium configuration consists of two firms located at one quarter of the "linear city, " and the other two at three quarters. We do not observe convergence to such an equilibrium. In our experimental data we find three clusters. Besides the direct proximity of the two equilibrium locations, this concerns the focal midpoint. Moreover, we observe that whereas this midpoint appears to become more notable over time, other focal points fade away. We explain how these observations are related to best-response dynamics, and to the fact that the players rely on best-responses in particular when they are close to the equilibrium configuration. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 40 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 231-240

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:40:y:2002:i:2:p:231-240
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  1. Shaked, A, 1982. "Existence and Computation of Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium for 3-Firms Location Problem," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1-2), pages 93-96, September.
  2. Brown Kruse, Jamie & Schenk, David J., 2000. "Location, cooperation and communication: An experimental examination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, January.
  3. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41, January.
  4. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
  5. B.Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1972. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Working Papers 87, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Osborne, Martin J & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "The Nature of Equilibrium in a Location Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 223-37, February.
  7. Collins, Richard & Sherstyuk, Katerina, 2000. "Spatial Competition with Three Firms: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 73-94, January.
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