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Bargaining and Reputation: An Experiment on Bargaining in the Presence of Behavioural Types


  • Matthew Embrey
  • Guillaume R. Fréchette
  • Steven F. Lehrer


We conduct a series of laboratory experiments to understand what role commitment and reputation play in bargaining. The experiments implement the Abreu and Gul (2000) bargaining model that demonstrates how introducing behavioral types, which are obstinate in their demands, creates incentives for all players to build reputations for being hard bargainers. The data are qualitatively consistent with the theory, as subjects mimic induced types. Furthermore, we find evidence for the presence of complementary types, whose initial demands acquiesce to induced behavioural demands. However, there are quantitative deviations from the theory: subjects make aggressive demands too often and participate in longer conflicts before reaching agreements. Overall, the results suggest that the Abreu and Gul (2000) model can be used to gain insights to bargaining behavior, particularly in environments where the process underlying obstinate play is well established.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Embrey & Guillaume R. Fréchette & Steven F. Lehrer, 2015. "Bargaining and Reputation: An Experiment on Bargaining in the Presence of Behavioural Types," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 608-631.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:82:y:2015:i:2:p:608-631

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    Cited by:

    1. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 101-121, June.
    2. Gelder, Alan & Kovenock, Dan, 2017. "Dynamic behavior and player types in majoritarian multi-battle contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 444-455.
    3. Erik O. Kimbrough & Kevin Laughren & Roman Sheremeta, 2017. "War and Conflict in Economics: Theories, Applications, and Recent Trends," Discussion Papers dp17-10, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    4. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:915-935 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 101-121, June.
    6. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2013. "Bounded Rationality and Strategic Uncertainty in a Simple Dominance Solvable Game," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-14, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    7. Anna Conte & Werner Güth & Paul Pezanis-Christou, 2017. "More Money vs More Certainty? Behaviour in Stochastic Alternating-Offer Experiments," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-06, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.

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