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Fairness and Short Run Price Adjustment in Posted Offer Markets

  • Kujal, Praveen
  • Smith, Vernon L.

Questionnaire studies show that perceptions of fairness cause people to resist price increases following abrupt changes in conditions with no cost justification. We examine this hypothesis in posted-offer markets extending previous work. Consistent with the hypothesis, in the profit disclosure (fairness) treatment prices are initially below those in the cost and the no disclosure treatments. Over time prices converge in all treatments to the competitive surplus maximizing equilibrium. Fairness is thus interpreted as being a result of expectations that are not sustainable. Expectations adapt as the market converges to the predicted competitive equilibrium.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Charles R. Plott & Vernon L. Smith (ed.), 2008. "Handbook of Experimental Economics Results," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Experimental Economics Results with number 1-06.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:expchp:1-06
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevierdirect.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780444826428

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    1. Binmore, Ken, et al, 1993. "Focal Points and Bargaining," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 381-409.
    2. Franciosi, Robert, et al, 1995. "Fairness: Effect on Temporary and Equilibrium Prices in Posted-Offer Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 938-50, July.
    3. Ketcham, Jon & Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1984. "A Comparison of Posted-Offer and Double-Auction Pricing Institutions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 595-614, October.
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