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Efficiency versus Equality in Bargaining

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio Galeotti

    (University of Lyon)

  • Maria Montero

    () (Department of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Anders Poulsen

    () (Department of Economics, University of East Anglia)

Abstract

We report experimental data from bargaining situations where bargainers can make proposals as often and whenever they want, and can communicate via written messages. We vary the set of feasible contracts, thereby allowing us to assess the focality of three properties of bargaining outcomes: equality, Pareto efficiency, and total earnings maximization. Our main findings are that subjects avoid an equal earnings contract if it is Pareto inefficient; a large proportion of bargaining pairs avoid equal and Pareto efficient contracts in favor of unequal and total earnings maximizing contracts, and this proportion increases when unequal contracts offer larger earnings to one of the players, even though this implies higher inequality. Finally, observed behavior violates the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives axiom, a result we attribute to a ‘compromise effect’.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Galeotti & Maria Montero & Anders Poulsen, 2015. "Efficiency versus Equality in Bargaining," Discussion Papers 2015-18, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2015-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Galeotti & Maria Montero & Anders Poulsen, 2017. "The attraction and compromise effects in bargaining: Experimental evidence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-04, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Bett, Zoë & Poulsen, Anders & Poulsen, Odile, 2016. "The focality of dominated compromises in tacit coordination situations: Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 29-34.
    3. Fabio Galeotti & Maria Montero & Anders Poulsen, 2017. "The attraction and compromise effects in bargaining: Experimental evidence," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-04, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

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    Keywords

    bargaining; efficiency; equality; communication; experiment; independence of irrelevant alternatives;

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