Bargaining Power as Threat of Impasse

6 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2004

Date Written: February 2004


This brief essay, written for a symposium on The Emerging Interdisciplinary Cannon of Negotiation, argues that bargaining power stems entirely from the negotiator's ability to, explicitly or implicitly, make a single threat credibly: "I will walk away from the negotiating table without agreeing to a deal if you do not give me what I demand." The source of the ability to make such a threat, and, therefore, the source of bargaining power, is the ability to project that he has a desirable alternative to reaching an agreement, often referred to as a "BATNA." The essay elaborates on this claim.

Suggested Citation

Korobkin, Russell B., Bargaining Power as Threat of Impasse (February 2004). Available at SSRN: or

Russell B. Korobkin (Contact Author)

UCLA School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-825-1994 (Phone)
310-206-7010 (Fax)

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