Multiple behavioral rules in Cournot oligopolies

Carlos Alós-Ferrer, Alexander Ritschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study intra-individual behavioral heterogeneity in an experimental Cournot oligopoly. Previous empirical results in this setting have demonstrated convergence to competitive outcomes, in agreement with theoretical predictions assuming that players imitate successful opponents. We postulate that players sometimes rely on imitation of successful behavior, and sometimes best reply to the actions of others. Testable predictions are obtained from a model allowing for multiple behavioral rules which accounts for differences in the cognitive nature of the underlying decision processes. Those include non-trivial response time interactions depending on whether the rules share a common prescription (alignment) or not (conflict), a classification which is ex ante observable. The results confirm the hypotheses and support the presence of multiple behavioral rules at the individual level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-267
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Best reply
  • Cournot oligopoly
  • Imitation
  • Multiple behavioral rules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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