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Bargaining with Uncertain Value Distributions

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This paper studies a bargaining model in which the seller is uncertain about which distribution the buyer's values are drawn from. The distribution of the buyer's values is fixed across periods, while the buyer’s values are drawn independently from the distribution each period. In the classical model of repeated bargaining where the buyer’s value is drawn from a commonly known distribution and fixed across periods, the high-value buyer has a strong incentive to conceal his value, and the seller loses most of her bargaining power. An important question is whether adding a layer of uncertainty makes the high-value buyer more willing to accept high-price offers and improves the seller’s revenue. We find this to be the case as long as the seller’s ex ante beliefs are sufficiently optimistic.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08005.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Dec 2009
Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:08005

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Keywords: Repeated Bargaining; Uncertain Value Distributions; Revenue Comparison; Learning;

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  1. Hart, Oliver D & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 509-40, October.
  2. Kennan, John, 2001. "Repeated Bargaining with Persistent Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 719-55, October.
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