Heterogeneity assumptions in the specification of bargaining models: a study of household level trade-offs between commuting time and salary

With many real world decisions being made in conjunction with other decision makers, or single agent decisions having an influence on other members of the decision maker’s immediate entourage, there is strong interest in studying the relative weight assigned to different agents in such contexts. In the present paper, the authors focus on the case of one member of a two person household being asked to make choices affecting the travel time and salary of both members. They highlight the presence of significant heterogeneity across individuals not just in their underlying sensitivities, but also in the relative weight they assign to their partner, and show how this weight varies across attributes. This is in contrast to existing work which uses weights assigned to individual agents at the level of the overall utility rather than for individual attributes. They also show clear evidence of a risk of confounding between heterogeneity in marginal sensitivities and heterogeneity in the weights assigned to each member. The authors show how this can lead to misleading model results, and argue that this may also explain past results showing bargaining or weight parameters outside the usual [0,1] range in more traditional joint decision making contexts. In terms of substantive results, they find that male respondents place more weight on their partner’s travel time, while female respondents place more weight on their partner’s salary.

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01535938
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2014 3:50PM