University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

Modeling Strategic Behavior in the Competitive Newsvendor Problem: An Experimental Investigation
Yinghao Zhang

Status: Published
Year: 2017
Publication Name: Production and Operations Management
Volume: 26, Issue: 7, Page Number(s): 1383–1398


This study experimentally investigates ordering behavior in the competitive newsvendor problem. We consider a duopoly market setting with two identical newsvendors selling the same perishable goods in a common market. Our experimental results show that average observed orders systematically deviate from the Nash equilibrium, and exhibit a similar pull-to-center pattern as in the classic non-competitive newsvendor experiments: average orders fall below the Nash equilibrium in the high-margin condition, and above the Nash equilibrium in the low-margin condition. More importantly, the observed orders in the duopoly market are significantly higher than that in the non-competitive newsvendor market, even in situations where standard inventory models predict no difference. We explain the ordering behavior using a strategic experience-weighted attraction (EWA) model, which captures players' propensities for strategic thinking in game settings. Our empirical analysis suggests that the strategic EWA model generates more accurate predictions of future ordering behavior than an existing linear adaptive model without concerning strategic thinking. Further analysis shows that individuals are heterogeneous in their propensities to be a strategic player. Our research indicates the importance of modeling strategic behavior when analyzing behavioral decisions in competitive (game) environments.

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UC Authors

Yinghao Zhang
Yinghao Zhang