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Trust or robustness? An ecological approach to the study of auction and bilateral markets

Laura Hernandez (), Annick Vignes () and Stéphanie Saba ()
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Laura Hernandez: LPTM - UMR 8089 - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modélisation - UCP - Université de Cergy Pontoise - Université Paris-Seine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Stéphanie Saba: CRED - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Droit - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas

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Abstract: Centralized markets are often considered more efficient than bilateral exchanges because information is public and the same for all the agents. On decentralized markets, where the information is private, the influence of trust on the market outcome has been underlined by many authors. We present an empirical study of the distinctive Boulogne-sur-Mer Fish Market (where both buyers and sellers can choose to trade by either bidding or bargaining), focused on the interactions between agents. Our approach is inspired by studies of mutualistic ecosystems, where the agents are of two different types (as in plant-pollinator networks) and the interactions only take place between agents of different kinds, naturally providing benefits to both. In our context, where the two kinds of agents are buyers and sellers, our study shows that not only do their interactions bring economic benefits for the agents directly involved, but they also contribute to the stability of the market. Our results help to explain the surprising coexistence of the two forms of market in the distinctive Boulogne sur Mer Fish Market.

Keywords: social interactions; trust; complex networks applications; mutualistic ecosystems (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-05-01
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Published in PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (5), pp.e0196206. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0196206⟩

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196206

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