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Does information about competitors' actions increase or decrease competition in experimental oligopoly markets?

  • Steffen Huck

    (Humboldt University, Berlin)

  • Hans-Theo Normann

    (Humboldt University, Berlin)

  • Joerg Oechssler

    (Humboldt University, Berlin)

This paper investigates the impact of information about rivals' actions on the competitiveness of experimental oligopoly markets. We compare two treatments: in one, firms are informed about their rivals' actions and profits. In the other, firms are only given some aggregate information about their rivals' actions (aggregate quantities, average price). We find that in markets where goods are strategic substitutes (Cournot) the first, full information treatment leads to a significantly higher degree of competition. This is in contrast to conventional wisdom in IO. However, in markets with strategic complements (Bertrand), we find no significant difference between the two treatments.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 9803004.

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Date of creation: 25 Mar 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:9803004
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  1. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
  2. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Devereux, Michael P. & Guiso, Luigi & Hassler, John & Saint-Paul, Gilles & Sinn, Hans-Werner & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vives, Xavier, 2010. "The European economy," Munich Reprints in Economics 20104, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  8. Huck, Steffen & Normann, Hans-Theo & Oechssler, Jorg, 1999. "Learning in Cournot Oligopoly--An Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C80-95, March.
  9. Svend Albæk & Peter Møllgaard & Per Baltzer Overgaard, 1997. "Government-Assisted Oligopoly Coordination? A Concrete Case," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-03, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  10. Selten, Reinhard & Stoecker, Rolf, 1986. "End behavior in sequences of finite Prisoner's Dilemma supergames A learning theory approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-70, March.
  11. Ronald Harstad & Stephen Martin & Hans-Theo Normann, 1997. "Experimental Tests of Consciously Parallel Behaviour in Oligopoly," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  12. Green, Edward J., 1980. "Noncooperative price taking in large dynamic markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-182, April.
  13. Holt, Charles A, 1985. "An Experimental Test of the Consistent-Conjectures Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 314-25, June.
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