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An experiment on the efficiency of bilateral exchange under incomplete markets

Author

Listed:
  • Olga A. Rud

    (Hamilton College)

  • Jean Paul Rabanal

    (Colby College)

  • Manizha Sharifova

    (University of the Pacific)

Abstract

We test in a controlled laboratory environment whether traders in a bilateral exchange internalize the impact of their actions on market prices better than in a large market. In this model, traders choose asset holdings, constrained by a technology frontier. Next, each trader experiences a random shock which makes only one type of asset profitable. In a general equilibrium environment with incomplete markets, this leads to pecuniary externalities because traders increase scarce asset holdings beyond what is socially optimal. This behavior is especially exacerbated in large experimental markets as traders fail to internalize the impact of their actions on prices. We find that when markets are incomplete, a bilateral exchange can slightly mitigate the extent of pecuniary externalities, and weakly increase welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Olga A. Rud & Jean Paul Rabanal & Manizha Sharifova, 2018. "An experiment on the efficiency of bilateral exchange under incomplete markets," Working Papers 123, Peruvian Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:apc:wpaper:123
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pecuniary externalities; incomplete markets; general equilibrium; experimental market games; walrasian equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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