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Bargaining with Incomplete Information: An Infinite-Horizon Model with Two-Sided Uncertainty

  • Cramton, Peter C

The resolution of any bargaining conflict depends crucially on the relative urgency of the agents to reach agreement and the information each agent has about the others' preferences. This paper explores, within the context of an infinite-horizon bargaining model with two-sided uncertainty, how timing and information affect the rational behaviour of agents when commitment is not possible. Since the bargainers are uncertain about whether trade is desirable, they must communicate some of their private information before an agreement can be reached. This need for learning, due to incomplete information about preferences, results in bargaining inefficiencies: trade often occurs after costly delay. Thus, the model provides an explanation for the inefficient bargaining behaviour that appears to occur often in practice.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 51 (1984)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 579-93

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:51:y:1984:i:4:p:579-93
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  1. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  2. Bengt Holmstrom & Roger B. Myerson, 1981. "Efficient and Durable Decision Rules with Incomplete Information," Discussion Papers 495, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
  4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  5. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Raymond J. Deneckere, 2002. "Bargaining with Incomplete Information," Papers of Peter Cramton 02barg, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Mar 2001.
  6. Peter Cramton, 1985. "Sequential Bargaining Mechanisms," Papers of Peter Cramton 85roth, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  7. Sobel, Joel & Takahashi, Ichiro, 1983. "A Multistage Model of Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 411-26, July.
  8. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  9. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Sequential Bargaining with Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 221-47, April.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria of Finite and Infinite Horizon Games," UCLA Economics Working Papers 242, UCLA Department of Economics.
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