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Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting


  • Marx, Leslie M.
  • Shaffer, Greg


When a buyer negotiates in sequence with two potential sellers of a good, the outcome of each negotiation depends on all three players' bargaining powers. Assuming all parties are symmetrically informed, we find that the first seller's payoff is increasing in his own and the second seller's bargaining power. On the other hand, the second seller's payoff is decreasing in the first seller's bargaining power and, in some cases, also in his own bargaining power. We characterize when contracts will contain break-up fees. All results extend to the case of a seller negotiating in sequence with two buyers.

Suggested Citation

  • Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2010. "Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-463, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:5:p:451-463

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia M. Landeo & Kathryn E. Spier, 2016. "Stipulated Damages as a Rent-Extraction Mechanism: Experimental Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 235-273, June.
    2. Krasteva, Silvana & Yildirim, Huseyin, 2012. "On the role of confidentiality and deadlines in bilateral negotiations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 714-730.
    3. Charles J. Thomas, 2012. "An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations," Working Papers 12-31, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.


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