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The East End, the West End, and King's Cross: On clustering in the four-player hotelling game


  • Huck, Steffen
  • Müller, Wieland
  • Vriend, Nicolaas J.


This article investigates whether decision makers intuitively optimize close to the normative prediction in entrepreneurial decision situations where their time must be allocated between a wage job and a newly formed venture. We offer an analytical model based on maximizing expected utility, and derive an optimal time allocation strategy for decreasing, constant and increasing returns from time invested in the venture. The model's predictions are tested in a simple questionnaire experiment where respondents have to detect corner solutions, that is, they should allocate to the venture either the maximum or the minimum possible time. Respondents are found to allocate time relatively close to the normative predictions, although with systematic deviations that are consistent with well-known decision anomalies. Risk propensity is found to have an impact on the decisions, but it should not according to the model. Respondents appear to use an anchoring and adjustment procedure and are influenced by the so-called affect heuristic, which may explain why those who do not mathematically optimize have their decision partially driven by their risk propensity. Implications of our findings for entrepreneurs and institutions dealing with entrepreneurs are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Vriend, Nicolaas J., 2000. "The East End, the West End, and King's Cross: On clustering in the four-player hotelling game," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,24, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200024

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. B. Curtis Eaton & Richard G. Lipsey, 1975. "The Principle of Minimum Differentiation Reconsidered: Some New Developments in the Theory of Spatial Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 27-49.
    2. Brown Kruse, Jamie & Schenk, David J., 2000. "Location, cooperation and communication: An experimental examination," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 59-80, January.
    3. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Shaked, A, 1982. "Existence and Computation of Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibrium for 3-Firms Location Problem," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1-2), pages 93-96, September.
    5. Collins, Richard & Sherstyuk, Katerina, 2000. "Spatial Competition with Three Firms: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 73-94, January.
    6. Partha Dasgupta & Eric Maskin, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, II: Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-41.
    7. Osborne, Martin J & Pitchik, Carolyn, 1986. "The Nature of Equilibrium in a Location Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 223-237, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolas Tsakas & Dimitrios Xefteris, 2017. "Electoral Competition with Third Party Entry in the Lab," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 09-2017, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    2. Orzen, Henrik & Sefton, Martin, 2008. "An experiment on spatial price competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 716-729, May.
    3. Aurélie Bonein & Stéphane Turolla, 2017. "Spatial competition with demand uncertainty: A laboratory experiment," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 17-12, INRA UMR SMART-LERECO.
    4. Gaëtan Fournier & Marco Scarsini, 2014. "Hotelling Games on Networks: Efficiency of Equilibria," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00983085, HAL.
    5. Lisa R. Anderson & Beth A. Freeborn & Jessica Holmes & Mark Jeffreys & Dan Lass & Jack Soper, 2006. "Location, Location, Location! A Classroom Demonstration of the Hotelling Model," Working Papers 44, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary, revised 05 Feb 2007.
    6. Wilfred Amaldoss & Woochoel Shin, 2011. "Competing for Low-End Markets," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 776-788, September.
    7. Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván & García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzís, Nikolaos & Andaluz-Funcia, Joaquín & Gil-Sanz, Agustín, 2011. "An experiment on spatial competition with endogenous pricing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 74-83, January.
    8. Camacho-Cuena, Eva & Garcia-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Sabater-Grande, Gerardo, 2005. "Buyer-seller interaction in experimental spatial markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 89-108, March.
    9. Christian Ewerhart, 2014. "Mixed equilibrium in a pure location game: the case of n ≥ 4 firms," ECON - Working Papers 168, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item


    Decision Making; Intuitive Optimizing; Micro Economics Model; Time Allocation Strategy; Entrepreneurship; Questionnaire Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection


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