Dynamic Matching and Bargaining: The Role of Deadlines
We consider a dynamic model where traders in each period are matched randomly into pairs who then bargain about the division of a fixed surplus. When agreement is reached the traders leave the market. Traders who do not come to an agreement return next period in which they will be matched again, as long as their deadline has not expired yet. New traders enter exogenously in each period. We assume that traders within a pair know each other's deadline. We define and characterize the stationary equilibrium configurations. Traders with longer deadlines fare better than traders with short deadlines. It is shown that the heterogeneity of deadlines may cause delay. It is then shown that a centralized mechanism that controls the matching protocol, but does not interfere with the bargaining, eliminates all delay. Even though this efficient centralized mechanism is not as good for traders with long deadlines, it is shown that in a model where all traders can choose which mechanism to use, no delay will be observed.
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