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Strategic Delegation and Delay in Negotiations over the Bargaining Agenda


  • Conlin, Michael
  • Furusawa, Taiji


This paper develops a game-theoretic model that endogenizes the items included in the bargaining agenda. The model's equilibria suggest two possible sources of inefficiency: (1) exclusion of items from the bargaining agenda and (2) delay to agreement due to negotiations over the bargaining agenda. Evidence from union contract negotiations is provided to demonstrate the relevance of these sources of inefficiency. The model also allows strategic delegation by the union. In certain equilibria, the surplus-maximizing union selects wage-maximizing delegates (such as senior union members) to negotiate the contract. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Conlin, Michael & Furusawa, Taiji, 2000. "Strategic Delegation and Delay in Negotiations over the Bargaining Agenda," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 55-73, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:1:p:55-73

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Svejnar, Jan, 1986. "Bargaining Power, Fear of Disagreement, and Wage Settlements: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1055-1078, September.
    3. Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 40-87, June.
    4. Dowrick, Steve, 1990. "The relative profitability of Nash bargaining on the labour demand curve or the contract curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 121-125, June.
    5. Hall, Robert E & Lilien, David M, 1979. "Efficient Wage Bargains under Uncertain Supply and Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 868-879, December.
    6. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    7. MaCurdy, Thomas E & Pencavel, John H, 1986. "Testing between Competing Models of Wage and Employment Determination in Unionized Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 3-39, June.
    8. Joseph J. Spengler, 1950. "Vertical Integration and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 347-347.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jirjahn, Uwe & Smith, Stephen C., 2017. "Nonunion Employee Representation: Theory and the German Experience with Mandated Works Councils," IZA Discussion Papers 11066, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Shinn-Shyr Wang & Kyle W. Stiegert & Tirtha P. Dhar, 2010. "Strategic Pricing Behavior under Asset Value Maximization," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(2), pages 151-170, June.
    3. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2005. "Strategic union delegation and strike activity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 149-173, February.
    4. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2006. "Strategic union delegation and incentives for merger," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 1-5.
    5. Manfred Königstein & Marie Claire Villeval, 2005. "The Choice of the Agenda in Labor Negotiations: Efficiency and Behavioral Considerations," Post-Print halshs-00175021, HAL.
    6. Königstein, Manfred & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2010. "Efficiency and behavioral considerations in labor negotiations," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 599-611, August.
    7. Aghadadashli, Hamid & Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Wey, Christian, 2016. "The Nash bargaining solution in vertical relations with linear input prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 291-294.
    8. Ahmet Ozkardas & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2012. "Wage bargaining with discount rates varying in time under exogenous strike decisions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    9. Ana MAULEON & Vincent J. VANNETELBOSCH, 2002. "Union Delegation and Incentives for Merger," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    10. Pei-Cheng Liao, 2014. "Strategic Delegation of Multiple Tasks," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1-2), pages 77-96, June.

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