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Multi-Issue Bargaining and Linked Agendas: Ricardo Revisited or No Pain No Gain

  • Ignatius J. Horstmann
  • James R. Markusen
  • Jack Robles

There has been much discussion about what issues should be included in international 'trade' negotiations. Different countries, firms and activists groups have quite different views regarding which items should (or should not) be negotiated together. Proposals run the gamut from no linking to linking trade with investment, the environment, labor and human-rights codes. This paper provides a formal framework for analyzing these questions. It employs a two-country, two-issue bargaining model and contrasts outcomes when issues are negotiated separately and when they are linked in some form. A key concept is 'comparative interest', analogous to Ricardian comparative advantage. We provide general results and note, in particular, where a country can benefit by agreeing to include an agenda item for which, when viewed by itself, the country does not receive a positive payoff.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8347.

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Date of creation: Jun 2001
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Publication status: published as Horstmann, Ignatius J., James R. Markusen and Jack Robles. "Issue Linking In Trading Negotiations: Ricardo Revisited Or Not Pain No Gain," Review of International Economics, 2005, v13(2,May), 185-204.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8347
Note: ITI
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  1. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-64, November.
  2. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1995. "Trade and Transboundary Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 716-37, September.
  3. Lisandro Abrego & Carlo Perroni & John Whalley & Randall M. Wigle, 1997. "Trade and Environment: Bargaining Outcomes from Linked Negotiations," NBER Working Papers 6216, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty and International Economic Institutions," NBER Working Papers 7293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Inderst, Roman, 1998. "Multi-Issue Bargaining with Endogenous Agenda," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-35, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Horn, Henrik & Wolinsky, Asher, 1988. "Worker Substitutability and Patterns of Unionisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 484-97, June.
  7. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2001. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in Multilateral Negotiations," CESifo Working Paper Series 601, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
  9. Busch, Lutz-Alexander & Horstmann, Ignatius J, 1997. "Bargaining Frictions, Bargaining Procedures and Implied Costs in Multiple-Issue Bargaining," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 669-80, November.
  10. Jun, Byoung Heon, 1989. "Non-cooperative Bargaining and Union Formation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 59-76, January.
  11. Lutz-Alexander Busch & Ignatius Horstmann, 1999. "Endogenous Incomplete Contracts: A Bargaining Approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 956-975, August.
  12. Fershtman, Chaim, 1990. "The importance of the agenda in bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 224-238, September.
  13. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
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