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The Role of Commitment in Bilateral Trade

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Abstract

This paper solves for the set of equilibrium payoffs in bargaining with interdependent values when the informed party makes all offers, as discounting vanishes. The seller of a good is informed of its quality, which affects both his cost and the buyer's valuation, but the buyer is not. To characterize this payoff set, we derive an upper bound, using mechanism design with limited commitment. We then prove that this upper bound is tight, by showing that all its extreme points are equilibrium payoffs. Our results shed light on the role of different forms of commitment on the bargaining process. In particular, we show that it is the buyer's inability to commit to a contract before observing the terms of trade that precludes efficiency.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d17b/d1760-r.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1760R.

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Length: 82 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision: Oct 2013
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1760r

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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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Keywords: Bargaining; Mechanism design; Market for lemons;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
  5. Mylovanov, Tymofiy, 2008. "Veto-based delegation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 297-307, January.
  6. 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.
  7. Raymond Deneckere & Meng-Yu Liang, 2006. "Bargaining with Interdependent Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1309-1364, 09.
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Cited by:
  1. Ben Lester & Braz Camargo, 2011. "Trading Dynamics in Decentralized Markets with Adverse Selection," 2011 Meeting Papers 1300, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Itai Sher & Rakesh Vohra, 2011. "Price Discrimination Through Communication," Discussion Papers 1536, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.

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