How responsive are people to changes in their bargaining position? Earned bargaining power and the 50–50 norm
AbstractPrevious research has shown that individuals do not respond to changes in their bargaining position to the extent predicted by standard bargaining theories. Most of these results come from experiments with bargaining power allocated exogenously, so that individuals may perceive it as having been “unearned” and thus be reluctant to exploit it. Typically these experiments also allowed equal splits of the “cake” (the amount bargained over) as equilibrium outcomes, leading to a powerful tendency toward 50-50 splits. We conduct a bargaining experiment in which subjects earn their bargaining power through a real–effort task. Treatments are based on the Nash demand game (NDG) and an unstructured bargaining game (UBG). Subjects bargain over a fixed amount of money, with disagreement payments determined entirely by the number of units of the real–effort task successfully completed. Task parameters are set to allow disagreement payoffs above half the cake size, in which case 50–50 splits are not individually rational, and thus not consistent with equilibrium. We find that subjects are least responsive to changes in own and opponent disagreement payoffs in the NDG with both disagreement payments below half the cake size. Responsiveness is higher in the UBG, and in the NDG when one disagreement payment is more than half the cake size, but in both cases it is still less than predicted. It is only in the UBG when a disagreement payment is more than half the cake size that responsiveness to disagreement payoffs reaches the predicted level. Our results imply that even when real–life bargaining position is determined by past behaviour rather than luck, the extent to which actual bargaining corresponds to theoretical predictions will depend on (1) the institutions within which bargaining takes place, and (2) the distribution of bargaining power; in particular, whether the 50–50 norm is a viable outcome.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2012_2.
Date of creation: 07 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125
Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php
Nash demand game; unstructured bargaining; real effort; disagreement; experiment;
Other versions of this item:
- Nejat Anbarci & Nick Feltovich, 2012. "How responsive are people to changes in their bargaining position? Earned bargaining power and the 50–50 norm," Economics Series 2012_6, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2012-03-14 (Business Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2012-03-14 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-03-14 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2012-03-14 (Game Theory)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, .
"A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation,"
IEW - Working Papers
004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
- Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002.
"Hardnose the Dictator,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
- Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Karl Schurter & Bart J. Wilson, 2009. "Justice and Fairness in the Dictator Game," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 130-145, July.
- Feltovich, Nick & Swierzbinski, Joe, 2011. "The role of strategic uncertainty in games: An experimental study of cheap talk and contracts in the Nash demand game," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 554-574, May.
- Matt Parrett, 2006. "An Analysis of the Determinants of Tipping Behavior: A Laboratory Experiment and Evidence from Restaurant Tipping," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 489â514, October.
- Bolton, Gary E, 1991.
"A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
- G. Bolton, 2010. "A comparative model of bargaining: theory and evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 263, David K. Levine.
- J. Ochs & Alvin E. Roth, 1998.
"An experimental study of sequential bargaining,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
331, David K. Levine.
- Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011.
"Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?,"
Handbook of Labor Economics,
- Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter J., 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," IZA Discussion Papers 4941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Gary Charness & Peter J. Kuhn, 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," NBER Working Papers 15913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2009.
"Relative Earnings and Giving in a Real-Effort Experiment,"
Department of Economics - Working Papers Series
1067, The University of Melbourne.
- Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan & Nikos Nikiforakis, 2011. "Relative Earnings and Giving in a Real-Effort Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3330-48, December.
- Kahn, Lawrence M & Munighan, J Keith, 1993. "A General Experiment on Bargaining in Demand Games with Outside Options," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1260-80, December.
- Nejat Anbarci & Nick Feltovich, 2011. "How sensitive are bargaining outcomes to changes in disagreement payoffs?," Monash Economics Working Papers 36-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
- Corgnet, Brice & Sutan, Angela & Veszteg, Róbert F., 2011. "My teammate, myself and I: Experimental evidence on equity and equality norms," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 347-355, August.
- John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
- Steffen Andersen & James C. Cox & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Elisabet RutstrÃ¶m & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2012.
"Asset Integration and Attitudes to Risk: Theory and Evidence,"
Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series
2012-12, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
- Steffen Andersen & James C. Cox & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet E. Rutstroem & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2011. "Asset Integration and Attitudes to Risk: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 2011_10, Durham University Business School.
- Fischer, Sven & Guth, Werner & Pull, Kerstin, 2007. "Is there as-if bargaining?," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 546-560, August.
- M. Vittoria Levati & Aaron Nicholas & Birendra Rai, 2011. "Testing the Analytical Framework of Other-Regarding Preferences," Monash Economics Working Papers 26-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
- Janssen, Maarten C.W., 2006. "On the strategic use of focal points in bargaining situations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 622-634, October.
- Oxoby, Robert J. & Spraggon, John, 2008. "Mine and yours: Property rights in dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 703-713, March.
- Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rilke, Rainer Michael & Walkowitz, Gari, 2013. "Self-Serving Use of Equity Rules in Bargaining with Asymmetric Outside Options," IZA Discussion Papers 7625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Xueli Tang).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.