Experimental Tests of Core Theory and the Coase Theorem: Inefficiency and Cycling
We examine experimentally the bargaining process and the final allocation of payoffs in games that differ in terms of whether the core exists and in the initial allocation of property rights among the players. This paper highlights the interaction among property rights, transaction costs, and the empty core. Our experimental results indicate that the existence of the core is an important determinant of bargaining generally and the Coase theorem in particular. They confirm our conjecture that when the core is empty and property rights are ill defined, Coasean efficiency breaks down. Among other results, our experiments show that the number of inefficient (non-Pareto-optimal) agreements and bargaining rounds with cycling are significantly greater when the core is empty than when the core exists, especially when property rights are ill defined. Our results suggest an economic role for specific property right arrangements to resolve the empty core. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lester G. Telser, 1994. "The Usefulness of Core Theory in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 151-164, Spring.
- Van Boening, Mark V & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1996. "Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 461-77, June.
- Elizabeth Hoffman & Matthew Spitzer, 1981.
"The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests,"
470, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Aivazian, Varouj A & Callen, Jeffrey L, 1981. "The Coase Theorem and the Empty Core," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 175-81, April.
- Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
- Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
- Aivazian, Varouj A & Callen, Jeffrey L & Lipnowski, Irwin, 1987. "The Coase Theorem and Coalitional Stability," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 54(216), pages 517-20, November.
- Harrison, Glenn W, et al, 1987. "Coasian Solutions to the Externality Problem in Experimental Marke ts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 388-402, June.
- Bernholz, Peter, 1997. "Property rights, contracts, cyclical social preferences and the Coase theorem: A synthesis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 419-442, September.
- Harrison, Glenn W & McKee, Michael, 1985. "Experimental Evaluation of the Coase Theorem," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 653-70, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:4:p:745-759. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.