Dufwenberg, Martin and Gneezy, Uri

"Price Competition and Market Concentration; An Experimental Study"

JEL codes: C92, L13
Keywords: Bertrand model, price competition, experiment, market concentration, bounded rationality, noise bidding

Abstract: The classical price competition model (named after Bertrand) prescribes that in equilibrium prices are equal to marginal costs. Moreover, prices do not depend on the number of competitors. Since this outcome is not in line with real-life observations, it is known as the "Bertrand Paradox." In experimental price competition markets we find that prices do depend on the number of competitors: the Bertrand solution does not predict well when the number of competitors is two, but (after some opportunities for learning) predicts well when the number of competitors is three or four. A bounded rationality explanation of this is suggested.

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