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On Risk Aversion in the Rubinstein Bargaining Game


  • Kohlscheen, Emanuel

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick,)

  • O’Connell, Stephen

    (Department of Economics, Swarthmore College,)


We derive closed-form solutions for the Rubinstein alternating offers game for cases where the two players have (possibly asymmetric) utility functions that belong to the HARA class and discount the future at a constant rate. We show that risk aversion may increase a bargainers payoff. This result - which contradicts Roth’s 1985 theorem tying greater risk neutrality to a smaller payoff - does not rely on imperfect information or departures from expected utility maximization.

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  • Kohlscheen, Emanuel & O’Connell, Stephen, 2008. "On Risk Aversion in the Rubinstein Bargaining Game," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 878, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:878

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Volij, Oscar & Winter, Eyal, 2002. "On risk aversion and bargaining outcomes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 120-140, October.
    4. Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "Risk Aversion and the Relationship between Nash's Solution and Subgame Perfect Equilibrium of Sequential Bargaining," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 353-365, December.
    5. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 155-178, February.
    6. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
    7. Roth, Alvin E & Rothblum, Uriel G, 1982. "Risk Aversion and Nash's Solution for Bargaining Games with Risky Outcomes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 639-647, May.
    8. Binmore, Ken & Osborne, Martin J. & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1992. "Noncooperative models of bargaining," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 179-225 Elsevier.
    9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-1364, November.
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