Payoff Uncertainty, Bargaining Power, and the Strategic Sequencing of Bilateral Negotiations
32 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2011
Date Written: July 20, 2011
This paper investigates the sequencing choice of a buyer who negotiates with the sellers of two complementary objects with uncertain payoffs. We show that the sequencing matters to the buyer only when equilibrium trade can be inefficient. In this case, the buyer begins with the less powerful seller if the sellers have sufficiently diverse bargaining powers. If, however, both sellers are strong bargainers, then the buyer begins with the stronger of the two. For either choice, the buyer’s sequencing (weakly) increases the social surplus. Our analysis further reveals that it is sometimes optimal for the buyer to raise her own cost of acquisition to better manage the supplier competition. As such, we find that the buyer may commit to paying the sellers a minimum price strictly above the marginal cost; and that the buyer may outsource an input even though it can be made in-house. Finally, we identify the first - and second - mover advantages in negotiations for the sellers.
Keywords: negotiation, sequencing, bargaining power, coordination
JEL Classification: C70, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation