IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Extracting Valuable Data from Classroom Trading Pits

Listed author(s):
  • Ted Bergstrom


Edward Chamberlin, who initiated classroom market experiments, used the results of these experiments to argue that competitive equilibrium performs poorly in explaining the outcomes of real markets. Vernon Smith altered the design of Chamberlin's experiment to increase the amount of price information available to traders and in classroom experiments with this design found that trading outcomes were close to those predicted by competitive theory. This paper examines results of classroom trading experiments using the design found in Experiments with Economic Principles, an introductory economics text by Ted Bergstrom and John Miller. The procedure in this experiment is intermediate between that of Chamberlin and that of Smith. We have collected data on transaction prices and quantities from a large number of classroom experiments using this design. We compare the experimental outcomes with the predictions made by competitive equilibriumtheory and by a simple profit-splitting theory. Evidence suggests that neither theory is entirely successful, though in the first rounds of trading there seems to be a significant amount of profit-splitting and as traders become more experienced, outcomes are closer to those predicted by competitive theory.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0407002.

in new window

Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 06 Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0407002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 18
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322-322.
  2. Robert E. Kuenne (ed.), 1990. "Microeconomics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 564.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0407002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.