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Durable Coalitions and Communication: Public versus Private Negotiations

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  • David P. Baron
  • Renee Bowen
  • Salvatore Nunnari

Abstract

We present a laboratory experiment to study the effect of communication on durable coalitions – coalitions that support the same allocation from one period to the next. We study a bargaining setting where the status quo policy is determined by the policy implemented in the previous period. Our main experimental treatment is the opportunity for subjects to negotiate with one another through unrestricted cheap-talk communication before a proposal is made and comes to a vote. We compare committees with no communication, committees where communication is public and messages are observed by all committee members, and committees where communication is private and any committee member can send private messages to any other committee member. We find that the opportunity to communicate has a significant impact on outcomes and coalitions. When communication is public, there are more universal coalitions and fewer majoritarian coalitions. With private communication, there are more majoritarian coalitions and fewer universal coalitions. With either type of communication coalitions occur more frequently and last longer than with no communication. The content of communication is correlated with coalition type and with the formation and dissolution of durable coalitions. These findings suggest a coordination role for communication that varies with the mode of communication.

Suggested Citation

  • David P. Baron & Renee Bowen & Salvatore Nunnari, 2016. "Durable Coalitions and Communication: Public versus Private Negotiations," NBER Working Papers 22821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22821
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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Agranov & Christopher Cotton & Chloe Tergiman, 2016. "Persistence of Power: Repeated Multilateral Bargaining," Working Papers 1374, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    2. Kwiek, Maksymilian & Marreiros, Helia & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2018. "Voting as a War of Attrition," IZA Discussion Papers 11595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Cesar Martinelli & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2017. "Communication and Information in Games of Collective Decision: A Survey of Experimental Results," Working Papers 1065, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
    4. Klaus Abbink & Lu Dong & Lingbo Hugang, 2018. "Talking Behind Your Back: Asymmetric Communication in a Three-person Dilemma," Discussion Papers 2018-11, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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