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Strategic Delegation: An Experiment

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  • Fershtman, Chaim
  • Gneezy, Uri

Abstract

We examine the effects of strategic delegation in a simple ultimatum game experiment. Specifically, we show that when the proposer uses a delegate, his share increases. Since in such a case the proposer does not use the delegate as a commitment device, this effect identifies an additional explanation of the delegation phenomenon. This result holds when delegation is mandatory or optional. We also show that unobserved delegation by the responder reduces his share as his delegate is perceived to be more willing to accept tough offers. Copyright 2001 by the RAND Corporation.

Suggested Citation

  • Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri, 2001. "Strategic Delegation: An Experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(2), pages 352-368, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:32:y:2001:i:2:p:352-68
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    as
    1. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    2. Mathias Dewatripont, 1988. "Commitment Through Renegotiation-Proof Contracts with Third Parties," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(3), pages 377-390.
    3. Guth, Werner, 1995. "On ultimatum bargaining experiments -- A personal review," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 329-344, August.
    4. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
    5. Schotter, Andrew & Zheng, Wei & Snyder, Blaine, 2000. "Bargaining Through Agents: An Experimental Study of Delegation and Commitment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 248-292, February.
    6. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
    7. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, B & Picard, P, 1995. "Competing Vertical Structures: Precommitment and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 621-646, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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