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Bargaining and market behavior : essays in experimental economics
Smith V.  Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 2000. Type: Divisible Book
Date Reviewed: Aug 1 2000

The editor of this compendium of essays on experimental economics is the founder of the field. As such, he offers an exceptional perspective. This book provides an excellent set of readings for those who are aware of experimental economics, and serves as an excellent introduction for those who are not aware of the advances that have been made in this exciting field.

The book begins by addressing the distinctions between economics and psychology and considering how such distinctions influence both the design and the result of experimental markets in economics. Four excellent essays encapsulate many of the premises underlying experimental economics, such as induced value and the sometimes startling results that occur in experiments.

Part 2 addresses the results of experimental bargaining markets and their consequences for the study of game theory. These essays include the results of specific game forms, such as the ultimatum, dictator, and repeated games. Cooperative extensive games and evolutionary games are also considered. The authors focus on both the implications for further developments in bargaining theory and the contrast with psychological models.

Finally, Part 3 presents the results of experimental markets that explore the effects of institutional design on the behavior of markets. This is one of the most important contributions of experimental economics--exploring the degree to which classical theories of market behavior survive under nonclassical market structures.

The final essay discusses stock market “bubbles.” This essay will, no doubt, cause lively discussion among the readership as to whether the bubbling is a result of the behavior of individuals or of the design of the experiment.

This excellent book summarizes both the important and the recent work in experimental economics in various contexts. The authors include many of the top researchers currently working in the field. This book is a must for every economics scholar.

Reviewer:  James Van Speybroeck Review #: CR125701 (00080476)
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