Date of Award

1990

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Economics

First Advisor

Richard P. McLean

Abstract

This dissertation consists of three related game-theoretic essays on bargaining.

The first essay develops a model of monopolistic economies in which total profit is determined by the set of traders that cooperate with the monopolist. The traders each bargain bilaterally with the monopolist for their profits and each bargaining outcome is determined by some bargaining solution. For any set of continuous bargaining solutions, there exists a general bargaining equilibrium, which is a profit distribution that is the fixed point of a system of bilateral bargaining outcome functions.

The second essay defines the class of strongly power sensitive bargaining solutions, which includes all bargaining solutions that are strongly individually rational and either independent of irrelevant alternatives or individually monotonic. Measures of bargaining power are introduced for generalized Nash bargaining solutions and generalized monotonic bargaining solutions.

The final essay analyzes the effects of syndication among traders bargaining with a monopolist with respect to the general bargaining equilibria associated with risk sensitive bargaining solutions and strongly power sensitive bargaining solutions. If the monopolist is risk neutral, the effects of syndication depend on the profit function: syndication is neutral if the profit function is additive for the set of traders, advantageous if it is submodular, and disadvantageous if it is supermodular.

A strictly risk averse monopolist creates opportunities for advantageous syndication among the traders. If the monopolist is strictly risk averse and the profit function is additive, then traders in larger syndicates receive greater profits, and syndicate merger is advantageous. The traders can maximize their profits by forming a single monopolistic syndicate. This confirms the conventional wisdom that traders faced with a monopolist should syndicate to form a bilateral monopoly.

In bargaining with a strictly risk averse opponent, size alone creates bargaining power. In the absence of any cost considerations, a strictly risk averse opponent may grant a larger player more favorable terms in bargaining. This may provide an explanation of volume discounts in the absence of price discrimination, economies of scale or transaction costs.

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