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Transaction Costs can Encourage Coasean Bargaining

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  • Robson, Alex

Abstract

When there are three parties, it is well known that the Coase Theorem may not hold even when there are no transaction costs, due to the emptiness of the core of the corresponding cooperative game [Aivazian and Callen (1981)]. We show that the standard Coasean bargaining game involving three parties is strategically equivalent to an asymmetric three player majority game. Hence, when there are three parties, the Coase Theorem fails if and only if the core of the corresponding three player majority game is empty. We use this equivalence result to derive all instances in which the Coase Theorem will and will not hold with three parties, and show that the Coase Theorem will actually hold most (over 80 per cent) of the time. We also demonstrate, in contrast to Aivazian and Callen (2003), that it is always possible to find a set of transaction costs which, when introduced into a frictionless bargaining situation, will cause an empty core to become non-empty. In other words, with suitably designed transaction costs, it is possible for the Coase Theorem to hold in cases where, in the absence of those transaction costs, it would fail to hold. When there are three parties, rather than hindering agreements, transaction costs can encourage Coasean bargaining.

Suggested Citation

  • Robson, Alex, 2012. "Transaction Costs can Encourage Coasean Bargaining," MPRA Paper 40892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40892
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alex Robson & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "Costly enforcement of property rights and the Coase theorem," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(1), pages 109-128, July.
    2. Parisi, Francesco, 2003. "Political Coase Theorem," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(1-2), pages 1-36, April.
    3. Luca Anderlini & Leonardo Felli, 2006. "Transaction Costs and the Robustness of the Coase Theorem," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 223-245, January.
    4. Varouj Aivazian & Jeffrey Callen, 2003. "The Core, Transaction Costs, and the Coase Theorem," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 287-299, December.
    5. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, January.
    6. Bernholz, Peter, 1997. "Property rights, contracts, cyclical social preferences and the Coase theorem: A synthesis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 419-442, September.
    7. Aivazian, Varouj A & Callen, Jeffrey L, 1981. "The Coase Theorem and the Empty Core," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 175-181, April.
    8. Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
    9. Gordon Tullock, 1959. "Problems of Majority Voting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 571-571.
    10. Barbara Luppi & Francesco Parisi, 2012. "Politics with(out) Coase," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 59(2), pages 175-187, July.
    11. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, April.
    12. Coase, R H, 1981. "The Coase Theorem and the Empty Core: A Comment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 183-187, April.
    13. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stéphane Gonzalez & Alain Marciano, 2017. "De nouveaux éclairages sur le théorème de Coase et la vacuité du cœur," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 127(4), pages 579-600.
    2. Ian A. MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2014. "Coasean Bargaining in the Presence of Pigouvian Taxation: Revisiting the Buchanan-Stubblebine-Turvey Theorem," Discussion Papers Series 515, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    3. MacKenzie, Ian A. & Ohndorf, Markus, 2016. "Coasean bargaining in the presence of Pigouvian taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-11.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coase Theorem; externalities; transaction costs; cooperative games;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)

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