Brendan Daley, Brett Green - May 4, 2017
We study a bargaining model in which a buyer makes frequent offers to a privately informed seller. In addition, the buyer gradually learns about the seller’s type from a publicly observable news process. We show that the buyer’s ability to leverage this information to extract more surplus from the seller is remarkably limited. In fact, the buyer’s equilibrium payoff is identical to what he would achieve if he were unable to price discriminate. Delay occurs only if the adverse-selection problem is sufficiently strong. When trade is delayed, the buyer engages in a kind of costly experimentation” by making offers that are sure to earn him negative payoffs if accepted, but that improve his information and expected continuation payoff if rejected. We investigate the effects of market power by comparing our results to a setting with competitive buyers. Surprisingly, both efficiency and the seller’s payoff can decrease by introducing competition among buyers.