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Stability of the Cournot Process - Experimental Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Steffen Huck

    (Humboldt University)

  • Hans-Theo Normann

    (Humboldt University)

  • Joerg Oechssler

    (Humboldt University)

Abstract

We report results of a series of experiments designed to test the stability of the best reply process. With linear demand and cost functions, the process is stable if and only if there are less than three firms in the market. However, we find no experimental evidence of such instability in a four firm oligopoly. Moreover, there are no differences between a market which theoretically should not converge to Nash equilibrium and one which should converge because of inertia.

Suggested Citation

  • Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Stability of the Cournot Process - Experimental Evidence," Experimental 9707002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:9707002
    Note: Pages: 14 ; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 1999. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-40, January.
    2. Rassenti, Stephen & Reynolds, Stanley S. & Smith, Vernon L. & Szidarovszky, Ferenc, 2000. "Adaptation and convergence of behavior in repeated experimental Cournot games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 117-146, February.
    3. R. D. Theocharis, 1960. "On the Stability of the Cournot Solution on the Oligopoly Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 133-134.
    4. Franklin M. Fisher, 1961. "The Stability of the Cournot Oligopoly Solution: The Effects of Speeds of Adjustment and Increasing Marginal Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 125-135.
    5. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 80-95, March.
    6. Cox, James C. & Walker, Mark, 1998. "Learning to play Cournot duopoly strategies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 141-161, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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