Gradual Negotiations and Proportional Solutions
I characterize the proportional N-person bargaining solutions by individual rationality, translation invariance, feasible set continuity, and a new axiom - interim improvement. The latter says that if the disagreement point d is known, but the feasible set is not - it may be either S or T, where S is a subset of T - then there exists a point d' in S, d' > d, such that replacing d with d' as the disagreement point would not change the final bargaining outcome, no matter which feasible set will be realized, S or T. In words, if there is uncertainty regarding a possible expansion of the feasible set, the players can wait until it is resolved; in the meantime, they can find a Pareto improving interim outcome to commit to - a commitment that has no effect in case negotiations succeed, but promises higher disagreement payoffs to all in case negotiations fail prior to the resolution of uncertainty.
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179, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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