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Tacit Coordination in a Decentralized Market Entry Game with Fixed Capacity

  • Rami Zwick

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Amnon Rapoport

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Tacit coordination is studied experimentally in a class of iterated market entry games with a relatively small number of potential entrants (n = 6), symmetric players, and fixed entry fees. These games are intended to simulate a situation where a newly emergent market opportunity may be fruitfully exploited by no more than a fixed and commonly known number of firms. Our results indicate a high degree of sensitivity to the game parameters that are manipulated in the study, namely, the market capacity, entry fee, and method of subject assignment to groups (fixed vs. random), as well as sophisticated adaptation to actual and hypothetical changes in wealth level. We find no support for convergence to equilibrium play on either the aggregate or individual level or for any trend across rounds of play to maximize total group payoff by lowering the frequency of entry. The coordination failure is attributed to certain features of the payoff function that induce strong competition in the attempt to penetrate the market.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/exp/papers/9903/9903001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 9903001.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 16 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:9903001
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 42 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
  2. Duffy, John & Hopkins, Ed, 2005. "Learning, information, and sorting in market entry games: theory and evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 31-62, April.
  3. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-33, March.
  4. Nick Feltovich, 2000. "Reinforcement-Based vs. Belief-Based Learning Models in Experimental Asymmetric-Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 605-642, May.
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  8. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1986. "Adaptive Behavior and Economic Theory," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S401-26, October.
  11. Martin Sefton, 1999. "A Model of Behavior in Coordination Game Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 151-164, December.
  12. Ochs, Jack, 1990. "The Coordination Problem in Decentralized Markets: An Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 545-59, May.
  13. Sundali, James A. & Rapoport, Amnon & Seale, Darryl A., 1995. "Coordination in Market Entry Games with Symmetric Players," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 203-218, November.
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