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Do Opponents' Experience Matter? Experimental Evidence from a Quantity Precommitment Game

Author

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  • Le Coq, Chloé

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Sturluson, Jon-Thor

    (Institute of Economic Studies, University of Iceland)

Abstract

This paper investigates why subjects in laboratory experiments on quantity precommitment games consistently choose capacities above the Cournot level - the subgame-perfect equilibrium. We argue that this puzzling regularity may be attributed to players' perceptions of their opponents' skill or level of rationality. In our experimental design, we use the level of experience (the number of periods played) as a proxy for the level of rationality and match subjects with different levels of experience. We first find evidence of capacity choices decreasing, and prices increasing, with the opponent's experience. Futhermore, we investigate the observed behavioural patterns by using the agent-form quantal response equilibrium model by McKelvey and Palfrey (1998). In particular, this framework takes into account any interaction between a player's own experience and that of his opponent. We show how the predictions of this theoretical framework fit well with the experimental data.

Suggested Citation

  • Le Coq, Chloé & Sturluson, Jon-Thor, 2003. "Do Opponents' Experience Matter? Experimental Evidence from a Quantity Precommitment Game," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 531, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 10 Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0531
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    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0531.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vital Anderhub & Werner Güth & Ulrich Kamecke & Hans-Theo Normann, 2003. "Capacity Choices and Price Competition in Experimental Markets," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 27-52, June.
    2. Mark Armstrong & Steffen Huck, 2011. "Behavioral Economics as Applied to Firms: A Primer," Antitrust Chronicle, Competition Policy International, vol. 1.
    3. Simon P. Anderson & Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 1998. "Rent Seeking with Bounded Rationality: An Analysis of the All-Pay Auction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 828-853, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Oligopoly; Quantity precommitment; Experience; Rationality;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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