Experimental Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 88–113 | Cite as

The role of information in different bargaining protocols

  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve
  • Aniol Llorente-Saguer
  • Rosemarie Nagel


We analyze a bargaining protocol recently proposed in the literature vis-à-vis unconstrained negotiation. This new mechanism extracts “gains from trade” inherent in the differing valuation of two parties towards various issues where conflict exists. We assess the role of incomplete vs. complete information in the efficiency achieved by this new mechanism and by unconstrained negotiation. We find that unconstrained negotiation does best under a situation of complete information where the valuations of both bargaining parties are common knowledge. Instead, the newly proposed mechanism does best in a situation with incomplete information. The sources of inefficiencies in each of the two cases arise from the different strategic use of the available information.


Voting Negotiation Multidimensional Information Conflict resolution Experiments 

JEL Classification

C7 C9 D74 D8 



We thank Antonio Cabrales, Alessandra Casella, Gary Charness, Rachel Croson, Andy Eggers, Christoph Engel, Ido Erev, Guillaume Frechette, Simon Hix, Robin Hogarth, Nagore Iriberri, Marco Kleine, Matthias Lang, Tomás Lejarraga, Tom Palfrey, Andy Schotter and seminar participants at a number of conferences for helpful comments and discussions. We specially want to thank two anonymous referees for encouraging us analyzing the role of information in the previously circulated paper “Experimental Comparison between Free Negotiation and a Multi-issue Point Mechanism”. We would also like to thank Benedikt Herz, Pablo Lopez, Aguilar Beltran and Gwendolin Sajons for excellent assistance at running the experiments. The first author acknowledges financial support from the British Academy; the third author acknowledges financial support from ECO2008-01768 and the Generalitat de Catalunya and the CREA program.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Hortala-Vallve
    • 1
  • Aniol Llorente-Saguer
    • 2
  • Rosemarie Nagel
    • 3
  1. 1.Government DepartmentLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective GoodsBonnGermany
  3. 3.Universitat Pompeu Fabra, ICREABarcelonaSpain

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