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Incomplete Information about Social Preferences Explains Equal Division and Delay in Bargaining

  • Stefan Kohler

    ()

    (Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Luisenstrae 57, 10117 Berlin, Germany)

Two deviations of alternating-offer bargaining behavior from economic theory are observed together, yet have been studied separately. Players who could secure themselves a large surplus share if bargainers were purely self-interested incompletely exploit their advantage. Delay in agreement occurs even if all experimentally controlled information is common knowledge. This paper rationalizes both regularities coherently by modeling heterogeneous social preferences, either self-interest or envy, of one bargaining party as private information in a three period game of bargaining and preference screening and signaling.

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Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 3 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 119-137

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:3:y:2012:i:3:p:119-137:d:20059
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  1. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-84, June.
  2. Peter Cramton, 1992. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining with Two-Sided Uncertainty," Papers of Peter Cramton 92res, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
  3. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  4. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Deneckere, Raymond J., 1989. "A direct mechanism characterization of sequential bargaining with one-sided incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 18-46, June.
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  7. Srivastava, Joydeep, 2001. "The Role of Inferences in Sequential Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information: Some Experimental Evidence," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 166-187, May.
  8. von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2009. "Bargaining under incomplete information, fairness, and the hold-up problem," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 486-494, August.
  9. Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2000. "Asymmetric inequality aversion and noisy behavior in alternating-offer bargaining games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1079-1089, May.
  10. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
  11. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "Guilt causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40760, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Kohler, Stefan, 2011. "Altruism and fairness in experimental decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 101-109.
  13. Driesen Bram & Perea Andrés & Peters Hans, 2009. "Alternating offers bargaining with loss aversion," Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  14. Sobel, Joel & Takahashi, Ichiro, 1983. "A Multistage Model of Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 411-26, July.
  15. Maria Montero, 2006. "Inequity Aversion May Increase Inequity," Working Papers 2006.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  16. Jonathan Tan & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "On the Relative Strengths of Altruism and Fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 35-67, 02.
  17. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "Envy can promote more equal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  18. Rasch, Alexander & Wambach, Achim & Wiener, Kristina, 2012. "Bargaining and inequity aversion: On the efficiency of the double auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 178-181.
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