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Bargaining and network structure: An experiment

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  • Charness, Gary
  • Corominas-Bosch, Margarida
  • Frechette, Guillaume R.

Abstract

Abstract: We consider bargaining in a bipartite network of buyers and sellers, who can only trade with the limited number of people with whom they are connected. Such networks could arise due to proximity issues or restricted communication flows, as with information transmission of job openings, business opportunities, and transactions not easily regulated by external authorities. We perform an experimental test of a graph-theoretic model that allows us to decompose any two-sided network into simple networks of three types, with unique predictions about equilibrium prices for the networks in our sessions. We begin with two separate simple networks, which are then joined by an additional link. Participants appear to quickly grasp important characteristics of the networks. The results diverge sharply depending on how this connection is made, typically conforming to the theoretical directional predictions. Payoffs can be systematically affected even for agents who are not connected by the new link. We find evidence of a form of social learning the shares (publicly) allocated to others in the past affect what one is willing to accept.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 136 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 28-65

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:136:y:2007:i:1:p:28-65

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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References

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  1. Fudenberg, Drew & Ellison, Glenn, 1995. "Word-of-Mouth Communication and Social Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196300, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Falk, Armin & Kosfeld, Michael, 2003. "It's all about Connections: Evidence on Network Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 777, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Gale, Douglas, 1987. "Limit theorems for markets with sequential bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 20-54, October.
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  15. Matthew Jackson & Ehud Kalai, 1995. "Social Learning in Recurring Games," Discussion Papers 1138, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Keser, Claudia & Ehrhart, Karl-Martin & Berninghaus, Siegfried K., 1998. "Coordination and local interaction: experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 269-275, March.
  17. Corominas-Bosch, Margarida, 2004. "Bargaining in a network of buyers and sellers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 35-77, March.
  18. Binmore, K & Shaked, A & Sutton, J, 1985. "Testing Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: A Preliminary Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1178-80, December.
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