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The Role of Commitment in Bilateral Trade

This paper solves for the set of equilibrium payoffs in bargaining with interdependent values when the informed party makes all offers, as discounting vanishes. The seller of a good is informed of its quality, which affects both his cost and the buyer's valuation, but the buyer is not. To characterize this payoff set, we derive an upper bound, using mechanism design with limited commitment. We then prove that this upper bound is tight, by showing that all its extreme points are equilibrium payoffs. Our results shed light on the role of different forms of commitment on the bargaining process. In particular, we show that it is the buyer's inability to commit to a contract before observing the terms of trade that precludes efficiency.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d17b/d1760-r.pdf
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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1760R.

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Length: 82 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision: Oct 2013
Publication status: Published in Journal of Economic Theory (November 2014), 154: 578-603
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1760r
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/

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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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  1. Gresik, Thomas A., 1991. "Ex ante incentive efficient trading mechanisms without the private valuation restriction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 41-63, October.
  2. Forges Francoise, 1994. "Posterior Efficiency," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 238-261, March.
  3. Samuelson, William F, 1984. "Bargaining under Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 995-1005, July.
  4. Gresik, Thomas A., 1991. "Ex ante efficient, ex post individually rational trade," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 131-145, February.
  5. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Jean Tirole, 1985. "Infinite-Horizon Models of Bargaining with One-Sided Incomplete Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1098, David K. Levine.
  6. Matthews, Steven A. & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1989. "Pre-play communication in two-person sealed-bid double auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 238-263, June.
  7. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  8. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  9. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Deneckere, Raymond J., 1989. "A direct mechanism characterization of sequential bargaining with one-sided incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 18-46, June.
  10. Bester, Helmut & Strausz, Roland, 2001. "Contracting with Imperfect Commitment and the Revelation Principle: The Single Agent Case," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1077-98, July.
  11. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  12. Mylovanov, Tymofiy, 2008. "Veto-based delegation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 297-307, January.
  13. Raymond Deneckere & Meng-Yu Liang, 2006. "Bargaining with Interdependent Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1309-1364, 09.
  14. Riley, John & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1983. "Optimal Selling Strategies: When to Haggle, When to Hold Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(2), pages 267-89, May.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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