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The Evolution of Bargaining Behavior

Tore Ellingsen ()

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1997, vol. 112, issue 2, 581-602

Abstract: The paper examines the evolutionary foundations of bilateral bargaining behavior. Interaction is assumed to be personal, in the sense that agents may recognize each others' bargaining strategies. In particular, the model allows interaction between "obstinate" agents, whose demands are independent of the opponent, and "sophisticated" agents, who adapt to their opponent's expected play. When the pie's size is certain, evolution favors obstinate agents who insist on getting at least half the pie. The unique outcome is an equal split. In sufficiently noisy environments, sophisticated behavior appears in equilibrium together with greedy obstinate behavior. There is then a positive probability of conflict.

Date: 1997
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Working Paper: The Evolution of Bargaining Behavior (1995)
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The Quarterly Journal of Economics is currently edited by Robert J. Barro, Elhanan Helpman, Lawrence F. Katz and Andrei Schleifer

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