Opacity in Bargaining over Public Good Provision

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


We consider ultimatum bargaining over the provision of a public good. Offer-maker and responder can delegate their decisions to agents whose actual decision rules are opaque. We show that the responder will benefit from strategic opacity, even with bilateral delegation. The incomplete information created by strategic opacity choices does not lead to inefficient negotiation failure in equilibrium. Inefficiencies arise from an inefficient provision level. While an agreement will always be reached, the public good provision will fall short of the socially desirable level. Compared with unilateral delegation, bilateral delegation is never worse from a welfare perspective.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1095
Number of pages27
Journal Journal of public economic theory
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85153403532
ORCID /0000-0002-5071-7849/work/142250542
WOS 000970230500001


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • bargaining, delegation, incomplete information, opacity, public good provision, transparency, Transparency, Bargaining, Opacity, Incomplete information, Public good provision, Delegation

Library keywords