The Dark Side of the Future: An Experimental Test of Commitment Problems in Bargaining

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Authors Dustin H. Tingley
Journal/Conference Name INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY
Paper Category
Paper Abstract While most existing theoretical and experimental literatures focus on how a high probability of repeated play can lead to more socially efficient outcomes (for instance, using the result that cooperation is possible in a repeated prisoner's dilemma), this paper focuses on the detrimental effects of repeated play, the "Dark Side of the Future". I study a resource division model with repeated interaction and changes in bargaining strength. The model predicts a negative relationship between the likelihood of repeated interaction and social efficiency. This is because the longer shadow of the future exacerbates commitment problems created by changes in bargaining strength. I test and find support for the model using incentivized laboratory experiments. Increases in the likelihood of repeated play leads to more socially inefficient outcomes in the laboratory.
Date of publication 2011
Code Programming Language R
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