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What Price Compromise? Testing a Possibly Surprising Implication of Nash Bargaining Theory

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  • John Bone
  • John D Hey
  • John Suckling

Abstract

This paper identifies, and tests experimentally, a prediction of Nash Bargaining Theory that may appear counterintuitive. The context is a simple bargaining problem in which two players have to agree a choice from three alternatives. One alternative favours one player and a second favours the other. The third is an apparently reasonable compromise, but is in fact precluded as an agreed choice by the axioms of Nash Bargaining Theory. Experimental results show that agreement on this third alternative occurs rather often. So the axiomatic Nash theory is not well-supported by our evidence. Our subjects' behaviour could be interpreted as the paying of an irrationally (according to the Nash theory) high price in order to reach a compromise agreement.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bone & John D Hey & John Suckling, 2006. "What Price Compromise? Testing a Possibly Surprising Implication of Nash Bargaining Theory," Discussion Papers 06/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:06/18
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Gjerstad, Steven, 2007. "A tractable model of reciprocity and fairness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-45, April.
    2. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith, 1982. "The Role of Information in Bargaining: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1123-1142, September.
    3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiments; Nash Bargaining Theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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