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The Attraction and Compromise Effects in Bargaining: Experimental Evidence

Galeotti, Fabio; Montero, Maria; Poulsen, Anders


Fabio Galeotti

Anders Poulsen


We experimentally investigate, in an unstructured bargaining environment with commonly known money payoffs, the Attraction Effect and Compromise Effect (AE and CE) in bargaining, namely a tendency for bargainers to agree to an intermediate option (CE), or to an option that dominates another option (AE). We conjecture that the relevance of the AE and CE in bargaining is constrained by how focal the feasible agreements' payoffs are. We indeed observe that there are significant AEs and CEs, but these effects are mediated by the efficiency and equality properties of the feasible agreements. Due to the allure of equality, the effects are harder to observe when an equal earnings contract is available. Decoys are more effective in shifting agreements from a very unequal contract to a less unequal one rather than the reverse.


Galeotti, F., Montero, M., & Poulsen, A. (2022). The Attraction and Compromise Effects in Bargaining: Experimental Evidence. Management Science, 68(4), 2377-3174.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2021
Online Publication Date Jul 9, 2021
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 9, 2021
Journal Management Science
Print ISSN 0025-1909
Electronic ISSN 1526-5501
Publisher INFORMS
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 4
Pages 2377-3174
Keywords Management Science and Operations Research; Strategy and Management
Public URL
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