Delay as Agenda Setting

James J. Anton

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business; Duke University - Department of Economics; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Dennis Yao

Harvard Business School; University of Pennsylvania - Business & Public Policy Department

June 5, 2012

Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 135

We examine a multi-issue dynamic decision-making process that involves endogenous commitment. Our primary focus is on actions that impact delay, an extreme form of lack of commitment. Delay is strategically interesting when decision makers with asymmetric preferences face multiple issues and have limited resources for influencing outcomes. A delayed decision becomes part of the subsequent agenda, thereby altering the allocation of resources. The opportunity to delay decisions leads the players to act against their short-run interests when they have strongly asymmetric preferences. Two classes of strategic activity emerge: focusing (reductions in delay) and pinning (increases in delay). We characterize these equilibria, explore how strategic delay alters the benefits to agenda setting, and develop implications for settings where bargaining is feasible. Our analysis applies directly to group, hierarchical, and coalitional decision making settings and illuminates a range of multi-market competitive interactions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 43

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Date posted: September 21, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Anton, James J. and Yao, Dennis, Delay as Agenda Setting (June 5, 2012). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 135. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2149792 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2149792

Contact Information

James J. Anton (Contact Author)
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0097
United States
919-660-7754 (Phone)
919-684-2818 (Fax)
Duke University - Department of Economics
213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States
Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative ( email )
215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

Dennis Yao
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
University of Pennsylvania - Business & Public Policy Department ( email )
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6372
United States
215-898-3019 (Phone)
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