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Bargaining with Uncertain Value Distributions

This paper studies a bargaining model in which the seller is uncertain about which distribution the buyer's values are drawn from. The distribution of the buyer's values is fixed across periods, while the buyer’s values are drawn independently from the distribution each period. In the classical model of repeated bargaining where the buyer’s value is drawn from a commonly known distribution and fixed across periods, the high-value buyer has a strong incentive to conceal his value, and the seller loses most of her bargaining power. An important question is whether adding a layer of uncertainty makes the high-value buyer more willing to accept high-price offers and improves the seller’s revenue. We find this to be the case as long as the seller’s ex ante beliefs are sufficiently optimistic.

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Paper provided by Concordia University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08005.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision: Dec 2009
Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:08005
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  1. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo & Wilson, Robert, 1986. "Foundations of dynamic monopoly and the coase conjecture," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 155-190, June.
  2. Biehl, Andrew R, 2001. "Durable-Goods Monopoly with Stochastic Values," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 565-77, Autumn.
  3. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sobel, Joel., 1985. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Working Papers 565, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Sobel, Joel, 1991. "Durable Goods Monopoly with Entry of New Consumers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1455-85, September.
  5. Loginova, Oksana & Taylor, Curtis, 2003. "Price Experimentation with Strategic Buyers," Working Papers 03-02, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ausubel, Lawrence M & Deneckere, Raymond J, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 511-31, May.
  7. Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
  8. Lemke, Robert J., 2004. "Dynamic bargaining with action-dependent valuations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(9), pages 1847-1875, July.
  9. Larry M. Ausubel & Raymond J. Deneckere, 1989. "Reputation in Bargaining and Durable Goods Monopoly," Levine's Working Paper Archive 201, David K. Levine.
  10. Andreas Blume, 1998. "Contract Renegotiation with Time-Varying Valuations," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 397-433, 09.
  11. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1983. "Sequential Bargaining with Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 221-247.
  12. John Kennan, 2001. "Repeated Bargaining with Persistent Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 719-755.
  13. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414.
  14. Oliver D. Hart & Jean Tirole, 1988. "Contract Renegotiation and Coasian Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 509-540.
  15. Bulow, Jeremy I, 1982. "Durable-Goods Monopolists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 314-32, April.
  16. Cho, In-Koo & Sobel, Joel, 1990. "Strategic stability and uniqueness in signaling games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 381-413, April.
  17. Marco Battaglini, 2005. "Long-Term Contracting with Markovian Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 637-658, June.
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