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Simultaneous and sequential price competition in heterogeneous duopoly markets: Experimental evidence

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  • Kübler, Dorothea
  • Müller, Wieland

Abstract

We investigate simultaneous and sequential price competition in duopoly markets with differentiated products. In both markets symmetric firms are repeatedly and randomly matched. The strategy method is used to elicit behavior in the sequential market. We find that average leader prices in the sequential market are higher than average prices in the simultaneous market, just as predicted by the theory, whereas average follower prices are not above average prices in the simultaneous market, in contrast to the theoretical prediction. Furthermore, second movers gain from the sequential structure in comparison to simultaneous-move markets whereas first movers do not. As in theory, there is a significant first-mover disadvantage when firms decide sequentially. Finally, to assess the robustness of our findings, we report the results of control treatments varying the matching scheme and the mode of eliciting choices (strategy method vs. standard sequential play).

Suggested Citation

  • Kübler, Dorothea & Müller, Wieland, 2001. "Simultaneous and sequential price competition in heterogeneous duopoly markets: Experimental evidence," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,97, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200197
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    Cited by:

    1. Orzen, Henrik & Sefton, Martin, 2008. "An experiment on spatial price competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 716-729, May.
    2. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    3. Bruttel, Lisa & Fischbacher, Urs, 2013. "Taking the initiative. What characterizes leaders?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 147-168.
    4. Dijkstra, Peter T., 2015. "Price leadership and unequal market sharing: Collusion in experimental markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 80-97.
    5. Verena Utikal & Urs Fischbacher, 2009. "On the attribution of externalities," TWI Research Paper Series 46, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
    6. Kübler, Dorothea & Müller, Wieland & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2008. "Job-market signaling and screening: An experimental comparison," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 219-236, September.
    7. Lemeunier, Sébastien M. & Charléty, Patricia, 2015. "Price strategies in a vertically differentiated mutual fund market," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 117-127.
    8. Guth, Werner & Muller, Wieland & Spiegel, Yossi, 2006. "Noisy leadership: An experimental approach," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 37-62, October.
    9. Peeters, Ronald & Strobel, Martin, 2009. "Pricing behavior in asymmetric markets with differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 24-32, January.
    10. Peeters,Ronald & Strobel,Martin, 2005. "Differentiated Product Markets: An Experimental Test of Two Equilibrium Concepts," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    11. Shakun Datta Mago & Emmanuel Dechenaux, 2009. "Price leadership and firm size asymmetry: an experimental analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 289-317, September.
    12. Argenton, Cédric & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "Collusion in experimental Bertrand duopolies with convex costs: The role of cost asymmetry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 508-517.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental economics; heterogeneous duopoly; price leadership; simultaneous play; first-mover disadvantage; strategy method;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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