Hidden Information, Bargaining Power and Efficiency: An Experiment
Gary Charness (),
Marie Claire Villeval () and
Antonio Cabrales ()
No 2009-08, Working Papers from FEDEA
We devise an experiment to explore the effect of different degrees of bargaining power on the design and the selection of contracts in a hidden-information context. In our benchmark case, each principal is matched with one agent of unknown type. In our second treatment, a principal can select one of three agents, while in a third treatment an agent may choose between the contract menus offered by two principals. We first show theoretically how different ratios of principals and agents affect outcomes and efficiency. Informational asymmetries generate inefficiency. In an environment where principals compete against each other to hire agents, these inefficiencies remain. In contrast, when agents compete to be hired, efficiency improves dramatically, and it increases in the relative number of agents because competition reduces the agents’ informational monopoly power. However, this environment also generates a high inequality level and is characterized by multiple equilibria. In general, there is a fairly high degree of correspondence between the theoretical predictions and the contract menus actually chosen in each treatment. There is, however, a tendency to choose more ‘generous’ (and more efficient) contract menus over time. We find that competition leads to a substantially higher probability of trade, and that, overall, competition between agents generates the most efficient outcomes.
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cta and nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: Hidden information, bargaining power, and efficiency: an experiment (2011)
Working Paper: Hidden Information, Bargaining Power, And Efficiency: An Experiment (2011)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2009-08
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working Papers from FEDEA
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Carmen Arias ().