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An Experimental Test of Strategic Trade Policy

  • Dirk Engelmann
  • Hans-Theo Normann

In this experiment, we analyze the model of strategic trade policy proposed by Brander and Spencer (1985). Governments can choose whether or not to subsidize domestic firms. Firms compete in a Cournot duopoly, and they know the subsidy decisions when choosing output. Although the theoretical prediction is that firms are subsidized, it turns out that governments only rarely subsidize in experimental markets. Not subsidizing is rational given our observation that firms do not play according to the subgame perfect equilibrium when subsidies are given.

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Paper provided by The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague in its series CERGE-EI Working Papers with number wp212.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp212
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  1. James A. Brander, 1995. "Strategic Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Grossman, G.N., 1989. "Promoting New Industrial Activities: A Survey Of Recent Arguments And Evidence," Papers 147, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  3. 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.
  4. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  5. Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Stackelberg beats Cournot: On collusion and efficiency in experimental markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  6. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Noussair, C. & Plott, C.R. & Riezman, R., 1994. "The Principales of Exchange Rate Determination in an international Finance Experiment," Papers 94-021, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  9. Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  10. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Noussair, Charles & Plott, Charles & Riezman, Raymond., . "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," Working Papers 799, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Krugman, Paul R, 1993. "The Narrow and Broad Arguments for Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 362-66, May.
  13. Huck, S. & Müller, W. & Normann, H.T., 2004. "Strategic delegation in experimental markets," Other publications TiSEM 64e031eb-d6bb-4b12-8b1e-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  14. Plott, Charles R, 1982. "Industrial Organization Theory and Experimental Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1485-1527, December.
  15. Cooper, Russell & DeJong, Douglas V. & Forsythe, Robert & Ross, Thomas W., 1996. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 187-218, February.
  16. Eaton, Jonathan & Grossman, Gene M, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406, May.
  17. Richard E. Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1986. "Market Access and International Competition: A Simulation Study of 16K Random Access Memories," NBER Working Papers 1936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Engelmann, Dirk & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2007. "An experimental test of strategic trade policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 144-156, September.
  19. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Steffen Huck & Wieland Müller & Hans-Theo Normann, 1999. "To commit or not to commit: Endogenous timing in experimental duopoly markets," Experimental 9906002, EconWPA.
  21. Neary, James Peter, 1991. "Cost asymmetries in international subsidy games: Should governments help winners or losers?," Discussion Papers, Series II 147, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  22. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  23. David Collie, 1994. "Endogenous timing in trade policy games: Should governments use countervailing duties?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 191-209, March.
  24. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-58, March.
  25. Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
  26. Hamilton, Jonathan H. & Slutsky, Steven M., 1990. "Endogenous timing in duopoly games: Stackelberg or cournot equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 29-46, March.
  27. Smith, Vernon L, 1982. "Microeconomic Systems as an Experimental Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 923-55, December.
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