I consider a model of delegated bargaining where an uninformed principal bargains
with an opponent and can delegate negotiation to a biased agent who is privately
informed about the cost of agreement. Applications include diplomacy and bargaining
on behalf of a firm by division managers. I characterize the equilibria that result,
showing that there are equilibria with inefficient delay, as well as with immediate
agreement. Any equilibrium with delay has an atom of acceptances followed by smooth
screening. The probability of delegation decreases over time. As long as the principal
is less eager to agree than the agent for the highest costs, the Coase conjecture fails
in every equilibrium. Using an agent can benefit the principal, but only in the initial
stages of negotiation. If the conflict of interest between the principal and the agent
increases, the payoff of the opponent increases.
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