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Credible Comparisons in Multi-Issue Bargaining

Author

Listed:
  • Archishman Chakraborty

    (Baruch College CUNY)

  • Rick Harbaugh

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

We find that bargaining over multiple issues as a bundle allows for credible cheap talk on the relative importance of the issues even when interests are directly opposed on each issue. This communication increases the chance of agreement by allowing the offerer to concede more on the issue of greater importance to the offeree. In contrast, if the issues are bargained over separately we find that the offeree will lie about which issue is of greater importance. The communication gains from bundling are in addition to the gains from bundling previously identified in the monopoly pricing literature. Applied to negotiations between an executive and a legislature, our results imply that bundling multiple issues in a single bill with no line-item veto increases communication and can benefit both the legislature and, in many cases, the executive as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2002. "Credible Comparisons in Multi-Issue Bargaining," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-04, Claremont Colleges.
  • Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2002-04
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    File URL: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/rdschool/papers/2002-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan & Michael D. Whinston, 1989. "Multiproduct Monopoly, Commodity Bundling, and Correlation of Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 371-383.
    2. Mark Armstrong, 1999. "Price Discrimination by a Many-Product Firm," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 151-168.
    3. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    4. Steven A. Matthews, 1989. "Veto Threats: Rhetoric in a Bargaining Game," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(2), pages 347-369.
    5. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(12), pages 1613-1630, December.
    6. William James Adams & Janet L. Yellen, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-498.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bundling; bargaining; cheap talk; veto;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

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