Reference Points in Renegotiations: The Role of Contracts and Competition
AbstractSeveral recent papers argue that contracts provide reference points that affect ex post behavior. We test this hypothesis in a canonical buyer-seller relationship with renegotiation. Our paper provides causal experimental evidence that an initial contract has a highly significant and economically important impact on renegotiation behavior that goes beyond the effect of contracts on bargaining threatpoints. We compare situations in which an initial contract is renegotiated to strategically equivalent bargaining situations in which no ex ante contract was written. The ex ante contract causes sellers to ask for markups that are 45 percent lower than in strategically equivalent bargaining situations without an initial contract. Moreover, buyers are more likely to reject given markups in renegotiations than in negotiations. We do not find that these effects are stronger when the initial contract is concluded under competitive rather than monopolistic conditions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 14192.
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
renegotiation; bargaining; reference points; contracts; competition;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
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