Experimental Analysis of Endogenous Institutional Choice: Constantly Revealing versus Ad-hoc Contracting

Di Cagno DanielaFerrari LorenzoGüth WernerLarocca Vittorio
CEIS Research Paper
Ad-hoc contracting allows to quickly react to changes which could be neglected or noticed too late in case of constant contracting. But always deciding anew, e.g., how much and what to order in commercial and what to buy in private life, is too cumbersome. To capture the cognitive burden of ad-hoc contracting and how it can be avoided by constant contracting, our setup confronts ad-hoc pricing, which is non-revealing, with constantly revealing pricing. The experiment modifies the Acquiring-a-Company game by reversing the responsibility for pricing to the seller who proposes a price together with a cheap-talk value message in case of ad-hoc pricing and, in case of constantly revealing contracting the seller demands a constant surplus share for all periodic interactions. The experiment lets sellers decide between constantly revealing prices and ad-hoc non-revealing prices. Buyers, either aware of the seller’s surplus share or only of the periodic value message and price, can accept or reject trade in each of several successive periods played by the same pair, a seller and a buyer participant. Will sellers opt for constant pricing already without experience or ad-hoc pricing? And will one, when more experienced, opt for what has been more profitable?

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Number: 523
Keywords: Bargaining, Experiment, Complete and Incomplete Information
JEL codes: C73,C92,D82,D90
Volume: 19
Issue: 7
Date: Friday 05 November 2021
Revision Date: Friday 05 November 2021