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Strategic Delay in Bargaining with Two-Sided Uncertainty

Peter Cramton ()

Review of Economic Studies, 1992, vol. 59, issue 1, 205-225

Abstract: The role of strategic delay is analyzed in an infinite-horizon alternating-offer model of bargaining. A buyer and seller are engaged in the trade of a single object. Both bargainers have private information about their own preferences and are impatient in that delaying agreement is costly. An equilibrium is constructed in which the bargainers signal the strength of their bargaining positions by delaying prior to making an offer. A bargainer expecting large gains from trade is more impatient than one expecting small gains, and hence makes concessions earlier on. Trade occurs whever gains from trade exist, but due to the private information, only after costly delay. Panmunjom, Korea—(UPI)—The American general and the North Korean general glared at each other across the table and the only sound was the wind howling across the barren hills outside their hut. Maj. Gen. James B. Knapp, negotiator for the United Nations Command (UNC), was waiting for Maj. Gen. Ri Choonsun of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea to propose a recess. They sat there, arms folded, for 4| hours. Not a word. Finally, Gen. Ri got up, walked out and drove away. —Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia (11 April 1969)

Date: 1992
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