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Career Concerns of Bargainers

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  • John Fingleton

Abstract

This article studies strategic bargaining in which a seller and a buyer are each represented by an agent. Potential agents differ in their ability to obtain information about the other party's reservation price; neither principal knows the other's reservation price or her agent's type. Agents are motivated by career concerns; they want to be perceived as skilled bargainers by their principals. In equilibrium, skilled agents use their private information optimally, while unskilled agents randomize between aggressive and soft price bids, attempting to imitate skilled types. We compare "open-door" bargaining, in which principals can observe the entire bargaining game as well as its outcome, with "closed-door" bargaining, in which they observe only the outcome. We show that agents unambiguously bargain more aggressively with open doors than behind closed doors, which leads to a less efficient bargaining outcome. Their principals may therefore prefer to let their agents bargain behind closed doors. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John Fingleton, 2005. "Career Concerns of Bargainers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 179-204, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:21:y:2005:i:1:p:179-204
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/jleo/ewi008
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Prat, 2005. "The Wrong Kind of Transparency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 862-877.
    2. Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Committees, sequential voting and transparency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 366-385, November.
    3. Oliver Gürtler, 2012. "A Strategic Rationale for the Use of Sell–On Fees in European Sports," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 13(1), pages 76-84, February.
    4. Alexander Koch & Eloïc Peyrache, 2008. "Mixed up? that’s good for motivation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 107-125, January.
    5. Otto H. Swank & Bauke Visser, 2007. "Is Transparency to no avail? Committee Decision-making, Pre-meetings, and Credible Deals," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-055/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Bar-Isaac Heski, 2012. "Transparency, Career Concerns, and Incentives for Acquiring Expertise," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-15, January.
    7. Clare Leaver, 2007. "Bureaucratic Minimal Squawk Behavior: Theory and Evidence from Regulatory Agencies," Economics Series Working Papers 344, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Hans Gersbach & Volker Hahn, 2012. "Information acquisition and transparency in committees," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 41(2), pages 427-453, May.
    9. Ghosh, Saptarshi P. & Roy, Jaideep, 2015. "Committees with leaks," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 207-214.
    10. Heski Bar-Isaac & Joyee Deb, 2012. "Reputation for a Servant of Two Masters," Working Papers 12-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. Gürtler, Oliver, 2006. "Implicit Contracts: Two Different Approaches," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 110, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    12. Gilat Levy, 2007. "Decision Making in Committees: Transparency, Reputation, and Voting Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 150-168, March.
    13. ., 2012. "Models of Negotiation and Bargaining in Health Care," Chapters,in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 21 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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