Price-Matching Guarantees and Equilibrium Selection in a Homogenous Product Market: An Experimental Study

Price-Matching Guarantees and Equilibrium Selection in a Homogenous Product Market: An... Price-matching guarantees have been alleged to sustain collusive prices in a homogenous product market. Theories in this literature also suggest that there exist multiple equilibria (i.e., a set of price equilibria between the competitive and the monopoly price) when all sellers adopt these guarantees in such a market. Theoretical prediction in this case fails to pin down the actual behavior of players a priori. This paper illustrates the essential role of controlled experiment in testing the collusive theory of price-matching guarantees and thereby shedding light on the embedded equilibrium selection problem. In particular, this paper studies two highly stylized market models, obtains testable predictions, and lays out the design of the controlled experiment. Results indicate that these guarantees facilitate collusion among sellers and thus solve the equilibrium selection problem considerably. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Price-Matching Guarantees and Equilibrium Selection in a Homogenous Product Market: An Experimental Study

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Economics; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
ISSN
0889-938X
eISSN
1573-7160
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11151-007-9129-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Price-matching guarantees have been alleged to sustain collusive prices in a homogenous product market. Theories in this literature also suggest that there exist multiple equilibria (i.e., a set of price equilibria between the competitive and the monopoly price) when all sellers adopt these guarantees in such a market. Theoretical prediction in this case fails to pin down the actual behavior of players a priori. This paper illustrates the essential role of controlled experiment in testing the collusive theory of price-matching guarantees and thereby shedding light on the embedded equilibrium selection problem. In particular, this paper studies two highly stylized market models, obtains testable predictions, and lays out the design of the controlled experiment. Results indicate that these guarantees facilitate collusion among sellers and thus solve the equilibrium selection problem considerably.

Journal

Review of Industrial OrganizationSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 17, 2007

References

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