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Structure, Behavior, and Market Power in an Evolutionary Labor Market with Adaptive Search


  • Tesfatsion, Leigh S.


This study uses an agent-based computational labor market framework to experimentally study the relationship between job capacity, job concentration, and market power. Job capacity is measured by the ratio of potential job openings to potential work orders, and job concentration is measured by the ratio of work suppliers to employers. For each experimental treatment, work suppliers and employers repeatedly seek preferred worksite partners based on continually updated expected utility, engage in efficiency-wage worksite interactions modelled as prisoner's dilemma games, and evolve their worksite behaviors over time. The main finding is that job capacity consistently trumps job concentration when it comes to predicting the relative ability of work suppliers and employers to exercise market power. Related work can be accessed here:

Suggested Citation

  • Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 2009. "Structure, Behavior, and Market Power in an Evolutionary Labor Market with Adaptive Search," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1681, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:1681

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1998. "Preferential Partner Selection in Evolutionary Labor Markets: A Study in Agent-Based Computational Economics," Staff General Research Papers Archive 2048, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Dan Ashlock & Mark D. Smucker & E. Ann Stanley & Leigh Tesfatsion, 1995. "Preferential Partner Selection in an Evolutionary Study of Prisoner's Dilemma," Game Theory and Information 9501002, EconWPA, revised 20 Jan 1995.
    3. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
    4. Leigh TESFATSION, 1995. "A Trade Network Game With Endogenous Partner Selection," Economic Report 36, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
    5. McFadzean, David & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1999. "A C++ Platform for the Evolution of Trade Networks," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 109-134, October.
    6. Leigh TESFATSION, 1995. "How Economists Can Get Alife," Economic Report 37, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
    7. Ariel Rubinstein & Asher Wolinsky, 1990. "Decentralized Trading, Strategic Behaviour and the Walrasian Outcome," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 63-78.
    8. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1989. "Empirical studies of industries with market power," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 1011-1057 Elsevier.
    9. Matthew Rabin & Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianjun Lu & Shozo Tokinaga, 2016. "Cluster fluctuation in two-dimensional lattices with local interactions," Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 237-259, June.
    2. Chen, Siyan & Desiderio, Saul, 2017. "What moves the Beveridge curve and the Phillips curve: An agent-based analysis," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-65, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Cincotti, Silvano & Raberto, Marco & Teglio, Andrea, 2010. "Credit money and macroeconomic instability in the agent-based model and simulator Eurace," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-32.
    4. Gabriele R. & Fagiolo G. & Dosi G., 2004. "Towards an Evolutionary Interpretation of Aggregate Labor Market Regularities," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 84, Society for Computational Economics.
    5. Boudreau, James W., 2010. "Stratification and growth in agent-based matching markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 168-179, August.
    6. James Nicolaisen & Valentin Petrov & Leigh Tesfatsion, 2000. "Market Power and Efficiency in a Computational Electricity Market with Discriminatory Double-Auction Pricing," Computational Economics 0004005, EconWPA.
    7. Giovanni Dosi & Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini, 2012. "Economic policies with endogenous innovation and Keynesian demand management," Chapters,in: What’s Right with Macroeconomics?, chapter 5, pages 110-148 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Dosi, Giovanni & Fagiolo, Giorgio & Roventini, Andrea, 2010. "Schumpeter meeting Keynes: A policy-friendly model of endogenous growth and business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1748-1767, September.
    9. Petra Ahrweiler & Michel Schilperoord & Nigel Gilbert & Andreas Pyka, 2012. "Simulating the Role of MNCs for Knowledge and Capital Dynamics in Networks of Innovation," Chapters,in: Innovation and Institutional Embeddedness of Multinational Companies, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Christian Martin & Michael Neugart, 2009. "Shocks and Endogenous Institutions: An Agent-based Model of Labor Market Performance in Turbulent Times," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 31-46, February.
    11. Akyol, Metin & Neugart, Michael & Pichler, Stefan, 2015. "A tradable employment quota," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 48-63.
    12. Yang, J.-H. Steffi, 2009. "Social network influence and market instability," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3-4), pages 257-276, March.
    13. Dan Farhat, 2011. "Bookworms versus Party Animals: An Artificial Labor Market with Human and Social Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 1103, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised May 2011.
    14. Neugart, Michael, 2008. "Labor market policy evaluation with ACE," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 418-430, August.
    15. repec:zbw:ifweej:20182 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Matteo Richiardi, 2003. "On the Use of Agent-Based Simulations," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 32, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    17. Nie, Pu-yan, 2009. "Commitment for storable goods under vertical integration," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 414-417, March.
    18. Klos, Tomas B. & Nooteboom, Bart, 2001. "Agent-based computational transaction cost economics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 503-526, March.
    19. Clemens Kühn & Katja Hillmann, 2016. "Rule-based modeling of labor market dynamics: an introduction," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 11(1), pages 57-76, April.
    20. Marco Raberto & Andrea Teglio & Silvano Cincotti, 2008. "Integrating Real and Financial Markets in an Agent-Based Economic Model: An Application to Monetary Policy Design," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 147-162, September.
    21. Sandra Tavares Silva & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2006. "An evolutionary model of firms' institutional behavior focusing on labor decisions," FEP Working Papers 227, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

    More about this item


    market power; agent-based computational economics; evolutionary game; Labor market dynamics; job capacity; job concentration; adaptive search; networks; endogenous interactions;

    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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