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Strategic Delegation in Experimental Markets

  • Steffen Huck
  • Wieland Müller
  • Hans-Theo Norman

In this experiment, we analyze strategic delegation in a Cournot duopoly. Owners can choose among two different contracts which determine their managers' salaries. One contract simply gives managers incentives to maximize firm profits, while the second contract gives an additional sales bonus. Although theory predicts the second contract to be chosen, it is only rarely chosen in the experimental markets. This behavior is rational given that managers do not play according to the subgame perfect equilibrium prediction when asymmetric contracts are given.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2000/wp-cesifo-2000-05/cesifo_wp290.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 290.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_290
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "Two are Few and Four are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
  4. Fershtman, C & Gneezy, U, 1996. "Strategic Delegation : An Experiment," Papers 43-96, Tel Aviv.
  5. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2001. "Stackelberg Beats Cournot: On Collusion and Efficiency in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 749-65, October.
  6. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  7. Cooper, R. & DeJong, D.W. & Ross, T.W., 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 36, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  8. Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Multistage Game Models and Delay Supergames," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1994-3, Nobel Prize Committee.
  9. Steffen Huck & Wieland Mueller, 1998. "Perfect versus imperfect observability---An experimental test of Bagwell's result," Experimental 9804001, EconWPA.
  10. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  11. Gonzalez-Maestre, Miguel & Lopez-Cunat, Javier, 2001. "Delegation and mergers in oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1263-1279, September.
  12. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
  13. Ramón Faulí-Oller & Massimo Motta, 1996. "Managerial incentives for takeovers," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-22, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  14. 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.
  15. Dufwenberg, Martin & Guth, Werner, 1999. "Indirect evolution vs. strategic delegation: a comparison of two approaches to explaining economic institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 281-295, June.
  16. Steven D. Sklivas, 1987. "The Strategic Choice of Managerial Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 452-458, Autumn.
  17. 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.
  18. Lambertini, Luca & Trombetta, Marco, 2002. "Delegation and firms' ability to collude," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 359-373, April.
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