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Decentralized or Collective Bargaining in a Strategy Experiment


  • Siegfried K. Berninghaus
  • Werner Güth
  • Claudia Keser


We present an experiment where two players bargain with a third player. They can bargain either separately or form a joint venture to bargain collectively. Our theoretical benchmark solution predicts decentralized bargaining, as only one player has an interest in forming a joint venture. However, we observe a significant amount of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining, when compared with decentralized bargaining, has no significant effect on the payoffs of the players in the joint venture but reduces the payoff of the third player. Nous présentons une expérience dans laquelle deux joueurs négocient avec un troisième joueur. Les deux joueurs peuvent négocier séparément ou former une coalition pour négocier collectivement avec le troisième. La solution théorique de référence prédit des négociations décentralisées, car seulement un des joueurs a intérêt à former une coalition. Les résultats de l'expérience montrent un nombre significatif de négociations collectives. Lorsque comparée à la négociation décentralisée, la négociation collective n'a pas d'effets significatifs sur les profits des joueurs de la coalition,0501s réduit le profit du troisième.

Suggested Citation

  • Siegfried K. Berninghaus & Werner Güth & Claudia Keser, 1999. "Decentralized or Collective Bargaining in a Strategy Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-31, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:99s-31

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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. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
    4. Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-497, June.
    5. Ngo Van Long & Antoine Soubeyran, 1999. "Input Price Discrimination, Access Pricing, and Bypass," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-23, CIRANO.
    6. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    7. Byoung Heon Jun, 1989. "Non-cooperative Bargaining and Union Formation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 59-76.
    8. Marcel Boyer, 1999. "Les Expos, l'OSM, les universités, les hôpitaux : Le coût d'un déficit de 400 000 emplois au Québec = Expos, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Universities, Hospitals: The Cost of a 400,000-Job Shortfall i," CIRANO Papers 99c-01, CIRANO.
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    More about this item


    Bargaining; joint venture; experimental economics; equilibrium selection; Négociation; coalition; économie expérimentale; sélection d'équilibre;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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