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Collusion and Fights in an Experiment with Price-Setting Firms and Production in Advance

  • Jordi Brandts
  • Pablo Guillen

We present results from 50-round market experiments in which firms decide repeatedly both on price and quantity of a completely perishable good. Each firm has capacity to serve the whole market. The stage game does not have an equilibrium in pure strategies. We run experiments for markets with two and three identical firms. Firms tend to cooperate to avoid fights, but when they fight bankruptcies are rather frequent. On average, pricing behavior is closer to that for pure quantity than for pure price competition and price and efficiency levels are higher for two than for three firms. Consumer surplus increases with the number of firms, but unsold production leads to higher efficiency losses with more firms. Over time prices tend to the highest possible one for markets both with two and three firms.

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File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/141.pdf
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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 141.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:141
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  1. Klaus Abbink & Jordi Brandts, 2005. "Price Competition Under Cost Uncertainty: A Laboratory Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 636-648, July.
  2. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "A Theory of Dynamic Oligopoly, II: Price Competition, Kinked Demand Curves, and Edgeworth Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 571-99, May.
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  9. Mestelman, Stuart & Welland, Douglas, 1988. "Advance Production in Experimental Markets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 641-54, October.
  10. Jordi Brandts & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Arthur Schram, 2003. "Competition with Forward Contracts: A Laboratory Analysis Motivated by Electricity Market Design," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000172, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Vives, Xavier, 1993. "Edgeworth and modern oligopoly theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 463-476, April.
  12. Offerman, Theo & Potters, Jan & Sonnemans, Joep, 2002. "Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 973-97, October.
  13. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1987. "A theory of dynamic oligopoly, III : Cournot competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 947-968, June.
  14. Oliver Hart, 1982. "Reasonable Conjectures," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 61, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  15. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly - An Experiment," Game Theory and Information 9707009, EconWPA, revised 22 Jul 1997.
  16. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 2004. "Two are few and four are many: number effects in experimental oligopolies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 435-446, April.
  17. Abbink, Klaus & Brandts, Jordi, 2008. "24. Pricing in Bertrand competition with increasing marginal costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-31, May.
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