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An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations

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  • Charles J. Thomas

    () (Economic Science Institute & Argyros School of Business and Economics)

Abstract

I develop an infinite-horizon alternating-offers model of multilateral negotiations, a common means of exchange whose strategic complexity has hindered previous modeling efforts. Multilateral negotiations occur in numerous settings in which one party wishes to trade with one of several others, but for concreteness I consider a buyer facing multiple sellers offering potentially different amounts of surplus to be split. The basic model provides surprising insights about introducing competition to an initially bilateral setting, while straightforward extensions provide empirical predictions about how the buyer’s choice of conducting procurement via multilateral negotiations or auctions is affected by factors including the number of sellers, uncertainty when making the choice, and costs of participating in the procurement process. More generally the model provides a tractable foundation for analyzing strategic problems in settings featuring multilateral negotiations.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles J. Thomas, 2012. "An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations," Working Papers 12-31, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:12-31
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    File URL: http://www.chapman.edu/research-and-institutions/economic-science-institute/_files/WorkingPapers/thomas-alternating-offer-model.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    10. Charles J. Thomas & Bart J. Wilson, 2014. "Horizontal Product Differentiation in Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(324), pages 768-787, October.
    11. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1993. "Bargaining with Private Information," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 45-104, March.
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    13. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 1992. "Search Equilibrium with Endogenous Recall," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 184-202, Summer.
    14. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
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    17. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-1364, November.
    18. Charles J. Thomas & Bart J. Wilson, 2005. "Verifiable Offers and the Relationship Between Auctions and Multilateral Negotiations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 1016-1031, October.
    19. Marx, Leslie M. & Shaffer, Greg, 2010. "Break-up fees and bargaining power in sequential contracting," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 451-463, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cary Deck & Charles J. Thomas, 2016. "Using Experiments to Compare the Predictive Power of Models of Multilateral Negotiations," Working Papers 16-29, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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