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Strategic delegation in experimental markets

  • Huck, Steffen
  • Müller, Wieland
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

In this experiment, we analyze strategic delegation in a Cournot duopoly. Owners can choose among two different contracts which determine their managers' salaries. One contract simply gives managers incentives to maximize firm profits, while the second contract gives an additional sales bonus. Although theory predicts the second contract to be chosen, it is only rarely chosen in the experimental markets. This behavior is rational given that managers do not play according to the subgame perfect equilibrium prediction when asymmetric contracts are given.

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Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2000,39.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200039
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  1. Steffen Huck & Wieland Mueller, 1998. "Perfect versus imperfect observability---An experimental test of Bagwell's result," Experimental 9804001, EconWPA.
  2. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
  3. Ramon Fauli-Oller & Massimo Motta, 1996. "Managerial Incentives for Takeovers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(4), pages 497-514, December.
  4. Dufwenberg, Martin & Guth, Werner, 1999. "Indirect evolution vs. strategic delegation: a comparison of two approaches to explaining economic institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 281-295, June.
  5. Gonzalez-Maestre, Miguel & Lopez-Cunat, Javier, 2001. "Delegation and mergers in oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1263-1279, September.
  6. Reinhard Selten, 1998. "Multistage Game Models and Delay Supergames," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-36, January.
  7. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  8. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L Judd, 1984. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," Discussion Papers 642, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Russell Cooper & Douglas V. DeJong & Thomas W. Ross, 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 0036, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Steven D. Sklivas, 1987. "The Strategic Choice of Managerial Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 452-458, Autumn.
  12. 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.
  13. Fershtman, C & Gneezy, U, 1996. "Strategic Delegation : An Experiment," Papers 43-96, Tel Aviv.
  14. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  15. Lambertini, Luca & Trombetta, Marco, 2002. "Delegation and firms' ability to collude," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 359-373, April.
  16. Bagwell, Kyle, 1995. "Commitment and observability in games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 271-280.
  17. Steffen Huck & Hans-Theo Normann & Jörg Oechssler, 2001. "Two are Few and Four are Many: Number Effects in Experimental Oligopolies," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
  18. Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 1999. "Stackelberg beats Cournot: On collusion and efficiency in experimental markets," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,32, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
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