Self-Serving Biases in Bargaining Volkswirtschaft - Open Access LMU - Teil 01/03

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There is strong evidence that in bargaining situations with asymmetric outside options people exhibit self-serving biases concerning their fairness judgements. Moreover, psychological literature suggests that this can be a driving force of bargaining impasse. This paper extends the notion of inequity aversion to incorporate self-serving biases due to asymmetric outside options and analyses whether this leads to bargaining breakdown. I distinguish between sophisticated and naive agents, that is, those agents who understand their bias and those who do not. I find that breakdown in ultimatum bargaining results from naiveté of the proposers.

There is strong evidence that in bargaining situations with asymmetric outside options people exhibit self-serving biases concerning their fairness judgements. Moreover, psychological literature suggests that this can be a driving force of bargaining impasse. This paper extends the notion of inequity aversion to incorporate self-serving biases due to asymmetric outside options and analyses whether this leads to bargaining breakdown. I distinguish between sophisticated and naive agents, that is, those agents who understand their bias and those who do not. I find that breakdown in ultimatum bargaining results from naiveté of the proposers.

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