The strategic motive to sell forward: experimental evidence
We test the strategic motive to sell forward in experimental Cournot duopoly and quadropoly environments with either a finite (exogenous close) or an infinite (endogenous close) number of forward markets. In the exogenous close case experienced subjects do not avail themselves of the forward markets and production mostly occurs in the spot market phase. In a forward market duopoly experienced subjects achieve nearly the monopoly output level. For the quadropoly output levels are more competitive and are near the Cournot Nash equilibrium. In both cases output produced is much less than the Allaz-Vila (1993) prediction. The results with inexperienced subjects, however, are in line with theory and as reported in Le-Coq and Orzen (2006). We implement the case of infinitely many forward periods using the endogenous close rule. In this case the results both for a forward market duopoly and quadropoly are much more competitive both with inexperienced and experienced subjects. Unlike the exogenous stopping rule, under the endogenous rule subjects sell forward in the forward markets and find it hard to coordinate their actions.
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