Joining a Queue or Staying Out: Effects of Information Structure and Service Time on Arrival and Staying Out Decisions

28 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2005 Last revised: 24 Feb 2008

See all articles by Darryl A. Seale

Darryl A. Seale

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

James E. Parco

Colorado College

William E. Stein

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School

Amnon Rapoport

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management

Abstract

We study a class of single-server queueing systems with a finite population size, FIFO queue discipline, and no balking or reneging. In contrast to the predominant assumptions of queueing theory of exogenously determined arrivals and steady state behavior, we investigate queueing systems with endogenously determined arrival times and focus on transient rather than steady state behavior. When arrival times are endogenous, the resulting interactive decision process is modeled as a non-cooperative n-person game with complete information. Assuming discrete strategy spaces, the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution for groups of n=20 agents is computed using a Markov chain method. Using a 2x2 between-subject design (private vs. public information by short vs. long service time), arrival and staying out decisions are presented and compared to the equilibrium predictions. The results indicate that players generate replicable patterns of behavior that are accounted for remarkably well on the aggregate, but not individual, level by the mixed-strategy equilibrium solution unless congestion is unavoidable and information about group behavior is not provided.

Keywords: Queueing, experiment, large group coordination, equilibrium

JEL Classification: C72, D81

Suggested Citation

Seale, Darryl A. and Parco, Jim and Stein, William E. and Rapoport, Amnon, Joining a Queue or Staying Out: Effects of Information Structure and Service Time on Arrival and Staying Out Decisions. Experimental Economics, Vol. 8, pp. 117-144, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=790064

Darryl A. Seale (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas ( email )

4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Jim Parco

Colorado College ( email )

Department of Economics and Business
14 E. Cache la Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6416 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/dept/EC/parco.asp

William E. Stein

Texas A&M University - Mays Business School ( email )

INFO Dept.
MS4217
College Station, TX 77843-4217
United States
979-845-4339 (Phone)

Amnon Rapoport

University of Arizona - Eller College of Management ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-9325 (Phone)
520-621-4171 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
69
Abstract Views
676
rank
330,014
PlumX Metrics