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Optimism and Bargaining Inefficiency


  • Li Duozhe

    () (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

  • Wong Yat Fung

    () (Chinese University of Hong Kong)


In a modified version of Rubinstein's bargaining game, two players expect the random arrival of a third party, from whom one of them will receive an interim disagreement payoff in every period until an agreement is finally reached. Each player thinks that his own probability of receiving the disagreement payoff is greater than that assessed by the other player; that is, they are mutually optimistic. We show that when the level of optimism is high and not very durable, equilibrium agreement is delayed until the uncertainty is fully resolved. The efficiency loss caused by such a delay remains substantial when the players are extremely patient.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Duozhe & Wong Yat Fung, 2009. "Optimism and Bargaining Inefficiency," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-14, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Muhamet Yildiz, 2003. "Bargaining without a Common Prior-An Immediate Agreement Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(3), pages 793-811, May.
    3. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
    4. Ali, S. Nageeb M., 2006. "Waiting to settle: Multilateral bargaining with subjective biases," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 109-137, September.
    5. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Wen, Quan, 1995. "Perfect Equilibria in Negotiation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 545-565, May.
    6. John Sutton, 1986. "Non-Cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 709-724.
    7. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-1364, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mihai Manea, 2011. "Bargaining in Stationary Networks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2042-2080, August.

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