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Deal or no deal? The effect of alcohol drinking on bargaining

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  • Au, Pak Hung
  • Zhang, Jipeng

Abstract

Alcohol drinking during business negotiation is a very common practice, particularly in some East Asian countries. Does alcohol consumption affect negotiator's strategy and consequently the outcome of the negotiation? If so, what is the mechanism through which alcohol impacts negotiator's behavior? We investigate the effect of a moderate amount of alcohol on negotiation using controlled experiments. Subjects are randomly matched into pairs to play a bargaining game with adverse selection. In the game, each subject is given a private endowment. The total endowment is scaled up and shared equally between the pair provided that they agree to collaborate. It is found that a moderate amount of alcohol consumption increases subjects’ willingness to collaborate, thus improving their average payoff. We find that alcohol consumption increases neither subjects’ preference for risk nor altruism. A possible explanation for the increase in the likelihood of collaboration is that subjects under the influence of alcohol are more “cursed” in the sense of Eyster and Rabin (2005), which is supported by the estimation results of a structural model of quantal response equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Au, Pak Hung & Zhang, Jipeng, 2016. "Deal or no deal? The effect of alcohol drinking on bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 70-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:127:y:2016:i:c:p:70-86
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.04.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy W. Bray, 2005. "Alcohol Use, Human Capital, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 279-312, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jianxin Wang & Daniel Houser, 2019. "An Economic Analysis of Business Drinking: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-field Experiment," Working Papers 1074, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Alcohol consumption; Bargaining; Cursed equilibrium; Adverse selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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