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Excess capacity and pricing in Bertrand-Edgeworth markets: Experimental evidence

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  • Fonseca, Miguel A.
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

Abstract

We conduct experiments testing the relationship between excess capacity and pricing in repeated Bertrand-Edgeworth duopolies and triopolies. We systematically vary the experimental markets between low excess capacity (suggesting monopoly) and no capacity constraints (suggesting perfect competition). Controlling for the number of firms, higher production capacity leads to lower prices. However, the decline in prices as industry capacity rises is less pronounced than predicted by Nash equilibrium, and a model of myopic price adjustments has greater predictive power. With higher capacities, Edgeworth-cycle behavior becomes less pronounced, causing lower prices. Evidence for tacit collusion is limited and restricted to low-capacity duopolies.

Suggested Citation

  • Fonseca, Miguel A. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2012. "Excess capacity and pricing in Bertrand-Edgeworth markets: Experimental evidence," DICE Discussion Papers 67, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:67
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Philippe Gillen & Alexander Rasch & Achim Wambach & Peter Werner, 2016. "Bid pooling in reverse multi-unit Dutch auctions: an experimental investigation," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 511-534, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Heymann, D. & Kawamura, E. & Perazzo, R. & Zimmermann, M.G., 2014. "Behavioral heuristics and market patterns in a Bertrand–Edgeworth game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 124-139.
    5. Odenkirchen, Johannes, 2017. "Pricing Behavior of Cartel Outsiders in Incomplete Cartels," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168309, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tacit collusion; excess capacity; Edgeworth cycles;

    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

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