Multilateral bargaining in networks: On the prevalence of inefficiencies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


We introduce a noncooperative multilateral bargaining model for network-restricted environments. In each period, a randomly selected proposer makes an offer by choosing 1) a coalition, or bargaining partners, among the neighbors in a given network and 2) monetary transfers to each member in the coalition. If all the members in the coalition accept the offer, then the proposer buys out their network connections and controls the coalition thereafter. Otherwise, the offer dissolves. The game repeats until the grand-coalition forms, after which the player who controls the grand-coalition wins the unit surplus. All the players have a common discount factor.

The main theorem characterizes a condition on network structures for efficient equilibria. If the underlying network is either complete or circular, an efficient stationary subgame perfect equilibrium exists for all discount factors: all the players always try to reach an agreement as soon as practicable and hence no strategic delay occurs. In any other network, however, an efficient equilibrium is impossible if a discount factor is greater than a certain threshold, as some players strategically delay an agreement. We also provide an example of a Braess-like paradox, in which the more links are available, the less links are actually used. Thus, network improvements may decrease social welfare.

This paper, at least in two reasons, concentrates on unanimity-game situations in which only a grand-coalition generates a surplus. First, analyzing unanimity games is enough to show the prevalence of inefficiencies. If any of proper subcoalitions generates a partial surplus, an efficient equilibrium is impossible even in complete networks for high discount factors, as a companion paper1 shows. Second, in unanimity games we can investigate the role of network structure on strategic delay controlling network-irrelevant factors.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
EventWINE 2015: The 11th Conference on Web and Internet Economics - Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), Amsterdan, Netherlands
Duration: 9 Dec 201512 Dec 2015


ConferenceWINE 2015: The 11th Conference on Web and Internet Economics


  • Noncooperative Bargaining
  • coalition formation
  • network restriction
  • buyout
  • Braess's Paradox

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Multilateral bargaining in networks: On the prevalence of inefficiencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this