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Costless delay in negotiations

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  • P. Jean-Jacques Herings

    (Maastricht University)

  • Harold Houba

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Tinbergen Institute)

Abstract

We study bargaining models in discrete time with a finite number of players, stochastic selection of the proposing player, endogenously determined sets and orders of responders, and a finite set of feasible alternatives. The standard optimality conditions and system of recursive equations may not be sufficient for the existence of a subgame perfect equilibrium in stationary strategies (SSPE) in case of costless delay. We present a characterization of SSPE that is valid for both costly and costless delay. We address the relationship between an SSPE under costless delay and the limit of SSPEs under vanishing costly delay. An SSPE always exists when delay is costly, but not necessarily so under costless delay, even when mixed strategies are allowed for. This is surprising as a quasi SSPE, a solution to the optimality conditions and the system of recursive equations, always exists. The problem is caused by the potential singularity of the system of recursive equations, which is intimately related to the possibility of perpetual disagreement in the bargaining process.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Jean-Jacques Herings & Harold Houba, 2022. "Costless delay in negotiations," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 74(1), pages 69-93, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:74:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s00199-021-01373-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-021-01373-6
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    Cited by:

    1. P. Jean-Jacques Herings & Harold Houba, 2010. "The Condorcet Paradox Revisited," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-026/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bargaining; Subgame perfect equilibrium; Stationary strategies; Existence; Costless delay;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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