Unstructured Bargaining with Costly Money Holdings

Last registered on August 25, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Unstructured Bargaining with Costly Money Holdings
Initial registration date
August 02, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
August 25, 2022, 2:10 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project expands the already existing large experimental literature exploring various theories of non-cooperative bargaining behavior, contributes to the emerging laboratory evidence on monetary policy inner workings and, more generally, to the growing idea that laboratory tests of monetary policy can be a part of the analyst's toolkit alongside theory and empirical field data.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned goals, I deviate from a typical bargaining experiment in the following ways:
1. Most bargaining experiments involve a fixed pie to divide and an explicit extensive form for the bargaining process. In this paper I study bargaining solutions in a setting where the pie size is determined endogenously and simultaneously with the division of the pie, and the bargaining has very little structures (what I will call semi-unstructured bargaining).

2. To the best of my knowledge, so far no bargaining experiment has considered the possibility of endogenous liquidity constraints, implemented trough ex-ante choice of costly money holdings. In fact, Duffy et al. (2021), on which this works builds on, are the first to introduce the possibility of a liquidity constraint in a bargaining experiment but they do that by imposing the constraint as an exogenous factor.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Klapp, Francisco . 2022. "Unstructured Bargaining with Costly Money Holdings." AEA RCT Registry. August 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9875-1.0
Experimental Details


Interest rates faced by buyers to borrow money before meeting with potential sellers.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcomes I'm interested in are the money holdings buyers bring to the bargaining stage, output traded and price. I'll be recording and time-stamping all of the offers so I can track the entire bargaining process.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The natural experimental implementation is to allow participants, who are assigned as either buyers or sellers, to bargain in a (semi) unstructured fashion over the price and quantity to be produced and trade given different interest rates. This will allow to infer which of the bargaining protocols is more relevant in this particular context.

I implement a within subject treatment for different interest rates, with fixed roles trough-out each sessions and random matching in each round. My goal is to run 12 sessions with 10 players per session, each with 2 practice rounds and 30 paying rounds.

In terms of the actual interface, I use Otree with the following sequence: First, buyers select how much to borrow at a certain interest rate, then they are randomly matched (using a random number generator) with a seller and bargain over quantity and price by making as many offers as they want with restrictions only on time, non-withdrawal of proposals and avoiding negative surpluses. Bargaining stops after 120 seconds or when one of the player's accepts an offer.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Recruitment of volunteers using SONA software: Students enroll in one of the offered dates using our website and they are paired with 9 other students who decided to enroll in the same date. If more than 10 volunteers enroll for a single date we randomly select (using a random number generator) which students will participate. Those who are not selected to participate can enroll again for an upcoming session.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 UCI students
Sample size: planned number of observations
120 UCI student with 30 rounds each
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 UCI student with 30 rounds each
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of California, Irvine Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials