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Bertrand-Edgeworth markets with increasing marginal costs and voluntary trading: Experimental evidence

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  • Jacobs, Martin
  • Requate, Till

Abstract

Price competition with increasing marginal costs, though relevant for many markets, appears as an under-researched field in the experimental oligopoly literature. We provide results from an experiment that varies the number of firms as well as the demand rationing and matching schemes in Bertrand-Edgeworth markets with increasing marginal costs and voluntary trading. We find that prices and profits are substantially higher in duopoly than in triopoly and with proportional compared to efficient demand rationing. The matching rule has little effect on prices and profits. Nash equilibrium predictions do not capture observed behavior. Neither the mixed-strategy Nash equilibria of the underlying one-shot game nor, for the fixed matching condition, the symmetric stationary outcome pure-strategy Nash equilibria of the infinitely repeated game are supported by the data. In contrast to results from related experiments, behavior is largely more competitive than predicted by Nash equilibrium theory. Individual pricing decisions can predominantly be explained by either myopic best responses (Edgeworth cycles) or simple imitative behavior, where the complexity of the decision situation plays a crucial role in which behavioral pattern applies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacobs, Martin & Requate, Till, 2016. "Bertrand-Edgeworth markets with increasing marginal costs and voluntary trading: Experimental evidence," Economics Working Papers 2016-01, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:201601
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacobs, Martin & Requate, Till, 2016. "Demand rationing in Bertrand-Edgeworth markets with fixed capacities: An experiment," Economics Working Papers 2016-03, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    2. Jacobs Martin, 2016. "Number of Firms, Rationing, Matching, and Knowledge: A Comprehensive Study of Variations in Experimental Kreps–Scheinkman Markets," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 1273-1319, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bertrand-Edgeworth; demand rationing; increasing marginal costs; Edgeworth cycles; oligopoly; laboratory experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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