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Behavioral Efficiency I: Definition, Methodology and Demonstration

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  • Ronald M Harstad

Abstract

Economic experiments conducted in laboratories employing an induced-values methodology can report on allocative efficiencies observed. This methodology is limited by requiring the experimenter to know subjects' motivations, an impossibility in field experiments. Allocative efficiency implies a hypothetical costless aftermarket would be inactive. An outcome of an allocation mechanism is herein defined to be behaviorally efficient if an appropriate aftermarket is actually appended to the allocation mechanism and at most a negligible aggregate size of mutually beneficial gains is observed on the aftermarket. Methodological requirements for observation of behavioral efficiency or inefficiency are put forward. A simple field demonstration indicates when an increase in public good output can cover marginal cost in a mutually beneficial decentralization, without knowing valuations. Several empirical issues that arise with the methodology are noted.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald M Harstad, 2011. "Behavioral Efficiency I: Definition, Methodology and Demonstration," ISER Discussion Paper 0818, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0818
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2011/DP0818.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lei, Vivian & Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R, 2001. "Nonspeculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality vs. Actual Irrationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 831-859, July.
    2. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
    3. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    5. Charles Zhoucheng Zheng, 2002. "Optimal Auction with Resale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2197-2224, November.
    6. S.J. Rassenti & V.L. Smith & R.L. Bulfin, 1982. "A Combinatorial Auction Mechanism for Airport Time Slot Allocation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 402-417, Autumn.
    7. Ronald Harstad, 2000. "Dominant Strategy Adoption and Bidders' Experience with Pricing Rules," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(3), pages 261-280, December.
    8. Glenn W. Harrison & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutstr–m, 2004. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 123-140, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald M. Harstad, 2014. "Efficiency Measurement via Revealed Thresholds, Without Knowing Valuations," Working Papers 1405, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 01 Mar 2016.
    2. R. M. Harstad & R. Selten., 2014. "Bounded-Rationality Models: Tasks to Become Intellectually Competitive," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    3. Harstad, Ronald M. & Selten, Reinhard, 2016. "Diminished-dimensional political economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 213-219.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D46 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Value Theory

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