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The Role of Commitment in Bilateral Trade

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  • Dino Gerardi
  • Johannes Horner
  • Lucas Maestri

Abstract

We examine the buyer-seller problem under different levels of commitment. The seller is informed of the quality of the good, which affects both his cost and the buyer's valuation, but the buyer is not. We characterize the allocations that can be achieved through mechanisms in which, unlike with full commitment, the buyer has the option to "walk away" after observing a given offer. We further characterize the equilibrium payoffs that can be achieved in the bargaining game in which the seller makes all the offers, as the discount factor goes to one. This allows us to identify how different levels of commitment affect outcomes, and which constraints, if any, preclude efficiency.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 661465000000000117.

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Date of creation: 29 Jul 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:661465000000000117

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  1. Raymond Deneckere & Meng-Yu Liang, 2006. "Bargaining with Interdependent Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1309-1364, 09.
  2. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  3. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Deneckere, Raymond J., 1989. "A direct mechanism characterization of sequential bargaining with one-sided incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 18-46, June.
  4. Mylovanov, Tymofiy, 2008. "Veto-based delegation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 297-307, January.
  5. Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
  6. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  7. Riley, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-89, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Sher, Itai & Vohra, Rakesh, 0. "Price discrimination through communication," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
  2. Braz Camargo & Benjamin Lester, 2011. "Trading dynamics in decentralized markets with adverse selection," Working Papers 11-36, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

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