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Inequality aversion causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining

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  • Kohler, Stefan

Abstract

This note presents a solution to Rubinstein (1982)'s open-ended, alternating-offer bargaining problem for two equally patient bargainers that exhibit similar degrees of inequality aversion. Inequality-averse bargainers may perceive envy if being worse off and guilt if being better off, but they still reach agreement in the first period under complete information. If the perceived guilt is strong, then the inequality-averse bargainers split the bargaining surplus equally regardless of their degree of envy. If guilt is weak, then the agreed split is tilted away from the Rubinstein division towards a more unequal split. Envy and weak guilt have opposite effects on the bargaining outcome, and envy has a greater marginal impact than weak guilt. Similarly inequality-averse bargainers agree on the Rubinstein division if the strength of envy equals the discounted strength of guilt. As both bargainers sensation of inequality aversion diminishes, the bargaining outcome converges to the Rubinstein division.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohler, Stefan, 2013. "Inequality aversion causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40764, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40764
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40764/1/MPRA_paper_40764.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Roth, Alvin E, 1985. "A Note on Risk Aversion in a Perfect Equilibrium Model of Bargaining," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 207-211, January.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Stefan Kohler, 2014. "Guilt causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1611-1617.
    5. Jonathan Tan & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "On the Relative Strengths of Altruism and Fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 60(1), pages 35-67, February.
    6. Maria Montero, 2007. "Inequity Aversion May Increase Inequity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 192-204, March.
    7. Kohler, Stefan, 2011. "Altruism and fairness in experimental decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 101-109.
    8. Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2013. "Relative Concerns and Delays in Bargaining with Private Information," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-10, June.
    9. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kröger & Arthur van Soest, 2008. "Measuring Inequity Aversion in a Heterogeneous Population Using Experimental Decisions and Subjective Probabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 815-839, July.
    10. Stefan Kohler, 2012. "Incomplete Information about Social Preferences Explains Equal Division and Delay in Bargaining," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 1-19, September.
    11. Abigail Barr & Chris Wallace & Jean Ensminger & Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Homo Æqualis: A Cross-Society Experimental Analysis of Three Bargaining Games," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005427, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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    14. Engelmann, Dirk, 2012. "How not to extend models of inequality aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 599-605.
    15. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "More fair play in an ultimatum game after resettlement in Zimbabwe: A field experiment and a structural model," MPRA Paper 40248, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    19. Kohler, Stefan, 2012. "Envy can promote more equal division in alternating-offer bargaining," MPRA Paper 40761, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    1. Stefan Kohler, 2014. "Guilt causes equal or unequal division in alternating-offer bargaining," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(3), pages 1611-1617.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    alternating offers; bargaining; bargaining power; behavioral economics; envy; equity; fairness; guilt; negotiation; social preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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