Walking the Talk in Multiparty Bargaining: An Experimental Investigation
28 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 12, 2009
We study the framing effects of communication in multiparty bargaining. Communication has been shown to be more truthful and revealing than predicted in equilibrium. Because talk is preference-revealing, it may effectively frame bargaining around a logic of fairness or competition, moving parties on a path toward or away from equal-division agreements. These endogenous framing effects may outweigh any overall social utility effects due to the mere presence of communication. In two experiments, we find that non-binding talk of fairness within a three-party, complete-information game leads toward off-equilibrium, equal division payoffs, while non-binding talk focusing on competitive reasoning moves parties away from equal divisions. Our two studies allow us to demonstrate that spontaneous within-game dialogue and manipulated pre-game talk lead to the same results.
Keywords: communication, fairness, bargaining
JEL Classification: C72, C78, D03, D74
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation