Uncertainty, market disequilibrium and the firm's decision process : applications to the Pacific salmon market Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gx41mm84r

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  • The Pacific salmon market may often be characterized by disequilibrium conditions and less than perfect information. Thus the study of the decision-making behavior, especially short-run pricing, of wholesale market participants in this industry requires the use of alternative models to the conventional, price-taking, perfect competition model of the firm. This study makes use of concepts advanced in the previous literature on disequilibrium markets and imperfect information, as well as known characteristics of the Pacific- salmon industry, to hypothesize a model of decision-making by buyers and sellers. Sellers determine an optimal asking price based on various indicators to the firm of where its unknown, but downward sloping, demand curve lies, as well as on costs. The reaction of buyers to the asking price is specified, as is implicitly the reaction, in turn, of sellers to buyers' decisions. The model is estimated empirically with the use of weekly data from invoices of wholesale transactions of Pacific salmon for a number of firms. These data represent a unique and rich source of information to the researcher examining decision-making in the firm. Additional information, such as dates of fishing seasons and landings, costs to processors and certain proxy variables, assist in the analysis of the invoice data. Empirical estimation of the model is performed on nineteen subsets of the data, classified by type of salmon product and by firm. The results for the asking price equation reveal that for certain cases seller behavior is consistent with the model of price-searching behavior developed here. Furthermore, these results support previous studies which hypothesize the role of various indicators in the decision-making of the seller. In the case of the buyers' responses to the asking price, however, the model does not appear to be capturing some important factors. Some of the probable issues not incorporated are discussed. Ultimately, then, this research is designed to provide a better understanding of the relationship between decision-making at the firm level and associated market processes in a particular setting: the U.S. Pacific salmon industry.
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