Equity-efficiency tradeoffs in international bargaining

Adib Bagh, William Ederington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper analyzes the welfare impact of expanding the negotiation agenda of an international agreement between asymmetric countries (e.g., including specific negotiations over environmental regulations or labor standards in a conventional trade agreement) and demonstrates why such proposed expansions are contentious. A main result is that agenda expansions that provide more bargaining flexibility will increase the efficiency of the agreement but can result in a less equitable agreement that hurts the country that is at a bargaining disadvantage. Similarly, we demonstrate that decreases in bargaining game asymmetry can also make the disadvantaged country worse-off even as it increases global welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-804
Number of pages23
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Economic Inquiry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Western Economic Association International.


  • bargaining
  • international agreements
  • issue linkage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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