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The strategic motive to sell forward: experimental evidence


  • Ferreira, José Luis
  • Kujal, Praveen
  • Rassenti, Stephen


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferreira, José Luis & Kujal, Praveen & Rassenti, Stephen, 2009. "The strategic motive to sell forward: experimental evidence," UC3M Working papers. Economics we092616, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we092616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Le Coq, Chloe & Orzen, Henrik, 2006. "Do forward markets enhance competition?: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 415-431, November.
    2. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Jordi Brandts & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Arthur Schram, 2008. "Competition with forward contracts: a laboratory analysis motivated by electricity market design," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 192-214, January.
    4. James B. Bushnell & Erin T. Mansur & Celeste Saravia, 2008. "Vertical Arrangements, Market Structure, and Competition: An Analysis of Restructured US Electricity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 237-266, March.
    5. Joshua S. Gans & Danny Price & Kim Woods, 1998. "Contracts and Electricity Pool Prices," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 23(1), pages 83-96, June.
    6. Alexander Dilger, 2006. "The absent-minded prisoner," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 301-315, December.
    7. Mahenc, P. & Salanie, F., 2004. "Softening competition through forward trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 282-293, June.
    8. Hughes, John S. & Kao, Jennifer L., 1997. "Strategic forward contracting and observability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 121-133, November.
    9. Rassenti, Stephen J & Reynolds, Stanley S & Smith, Vernon L, 1994. "Cotenancy and Competition in an Experimental Auction Market for Natural Gas Pipeline Networks," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(1), pages 41-65, January.
    10. 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.
    11. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine, 1981. "Perfect Equilibria of Finite and Infinite Horizon Games," UCLA Economics Working Papers 216, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Ferreira, Jose Luis, 2003. "Strategic interaction between futures and spot markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 141-151, January.
    13. Allaz, Blaise, 1992. "Oligopoly, uncertainty and strategic forward transactions," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 297-308, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. van Koten, Silvester & Ortmann, Andreas, 2013. "Structural versus behavioral remedies in the deregulation of electricity markets: An experimental investigation motivated by policy concerns," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 256-265.
    2. Andrea Petrella & Sandro Sapio, 2010. "No PUN intended: A time series analysis of the Italian day-ahead electricity prices," RSCAS Working Papers 2010/03, European University Institute.
    3. Remco van Eijkel & Jose Luis Moraga, 2010. "Do Firms sell forward for Strategic Reasons? An Application to the Wholesale Market for Natural Gas," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-058/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Breitmoser, Yves, 2012. "Allaz-Vila competition with non-linear costs or demands," MPRA Paper 41772, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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