Loss Aversion and Bargaining
We consider bargaining situations where two players evaluate outcomes with reference-dependent utility functions, analyzing the effect of differing levels of loss aversion on bargaining outcomes. We find that as with risk aversion, increasing loss aversion for a player leads to worse outcomes for that player in bargaining situations. An extension of Nashâ€™s axioms is used to define a solution for bargaining problems with exogenous reference points. Using this solution concept we endogenize the reference points into the model and find a unique solution giving reference points and outcomes that satisfy two reasonable properties, which we predict would be observed in a steady state. The resulting solution also emerges in two other approaches, a strategic (non-cooperative) approach using Rubinsteinâ€™s alternating offers model and a dynamic approach in which we find that even under weak assumptions, outcomes and reference points converge to the steady state solution from any non-equilibrium state.
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