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Transaction costs can encourage Coasean bargaining

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  • Alex Robson

Abstract

When there are three parties, instability problems brought about by the emptiness of the core of the corresponding cooperative game may cause the Coase Theorem to fail, even when other more direct impediments to bargaining are low. We show that the standard Coasean bargaining game involving three parties is strategically equivalent to an asymmetric three-player majority game. Hence, when there are three parties, instability problems will cause the Coase Theorem to fail if and only if the core of the corresponding three-player majority game is empty. We use this equivalence result to derive all instances in which the Coase Theorem will and will not hold with three parties, and show that a priori, such instability problems are likely to be rare—the Coase Theorem will actually hold most (over 80 %) of the time. We also demonstrate that it is always possible to find a set of transaction costs which, when introduced into a frictionless bargaining situation, will cause an empty core to become non-empty. In other words, transaction costs can mitigate instability problems: situations exist in which the presence of transaction costs will cause the Coase Theorem to hold when, in the absence of those direct transaction costs, it would fail to hold. When there are three parties, rather than hindering agreements, the existence of direct transaction costs can sometimes—but not always—reduce instability and encourage Coasean bargaining. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
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  • Alex Robson, 2012. "Transaction costs can encourage Coasean bargaining," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201208, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:gri:epaper:economics:201208
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2006. "Transaction Costs and the Robustness of the Coase Theorem," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 223-245, January.
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    6. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, May.
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    8. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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    10. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, January.
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    1. repec:cai:repdal:redp_274_0579 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stéphane Gonzalez & Alain Marciano, 2017. "De nouveaux éclairages sur le théorème de Coase et la vacuité du cœur," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 127(4), pages 579-600.
    3. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2014. "Coasean Bargaining in the Presence of Pigouvian Taxation: Revisiting the Buchanan-Stubblebine-Turvey Theorem," Discussion Papers Series 515, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    4. MacKenzie, Ian A. & Ohndorf, Markus, 2016. "Coasean bargaining in the presence of Pigouvian taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-11.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coase Theory; externalities; transaction costs; cooperatives games;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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