The determinants of multilateral bargaining: a comprehensive analysis of Baron and Ferejohn majoritarian bargaining experiments

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Abstract

We analyze the data sets of all majoritarian Baron and Ferejohn (Am Political Sci Rev 83(4):1181–1206, 1989) experiments through 2018. By exploiting the variation of the experimental parameters, we are able to identify how group size, discount factor (cost of agreement delay), voting weights, and communication affect bargaining outcomes and dynamics. The outcomes are qualitatively in line with the stationary subgame perfect equilibrium, i.e., minimum winning coalitions are modal; proposers demand larger shares than non-proposers; and most agreements are reached without delay. Experience and communication between players move outcomes closer to the equilibrium. However, bargaining dynamics are not stationary. Behavior following a disagreement is history-dependent in the form of retaliation towards failed proposers and their supporters, which, if rationally expected, may deter proposers from demanding high shares.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExperimental Economics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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