Commitment and conflict in multilateral bargaining

Topi Miettinen, Christoph Vanberg

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


We extend the Baron and Ferejohn (1989) model of multilateral bargaining, allowing players to take an aggressive bargaining posture by attempting to commit to a bargaining position prior to each round of negotiations. Any such attempted commitment fails with an exogenously given probability. If successful, commitment binds a player to reject any proposal which allocates to her a share below a self-imposed threshold. We characterize the Markov perfect equilibria. Under unanimity rule, an inefficient equilibrium always exists and no efficient equilibria exist if and only if the probability of the commitment failing is sufficiently large. Efficient commitment profiles cannot be sustained in equilibrium if the number of players is sufficiently large. Under any (super)majority rule, every equilibrium is efficient. The results suggest that the unanimity rule is particularly damaging if the number of legislators is large and the time lags between consecutive sessions are long.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
PublisherUniversity of Heidelberg
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper Series
PublisherUniversity of Heidelberg, Department of Economics


  • 511 Economics
  • bargaining
  • commitment
  • conflict
  • delay
  • environmental agreements
  • international negotiations
  • legislative
  • majority
  • multilateral
  • unanimity

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Quantitative consumer behaviour and competition economics


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