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Coordination Failure in Capacity-then-Price-Setting Games

Werner Güth (), Manfred Stadler () and Alexandra Zaby ()
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Werner Güth: Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS)
Manfred Stadler: University of Tübingen
Alexandra Zaby: University of Tübingen

Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, 2019, vol. 36, issue 3, 111-133

Abstract: Abstract In capacity-then-price-setting games, soft capacity constraints are planned sales amounts where producing above capacity is possible but more costly. While the subgame perfect equilibrium predicts equal prices, experimental evidence often reveals price discrepancies. This failure to coordinate on equal prices can imply losses, especially when serving demand is obligatory. We compare coordination failure with efficient rationing as well as with compulsory serving of demand, and additionally allow for simultaneous and sequential capacity choices. These treatments lead to a varying severity of the threat of losses. Our experimental results show that (possible) coordination failure affects behavior through two channels: via anticipating as well as via reacting to a loss. While capacities increase in anticipation of losses, prices increase when anticipating losses but decrease after experiencing losses. Coordination failures are more probable after subjects experienced a loss.

Keywords: Capacity-then-price competition; Loss avoidance; Path dependence; Sequentiality of decisions; Intra-play communication (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s41412-019-00081-w

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