Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name

Quantitative Economics


Economics and Planning Unit (EPU-Delhi)


Ramaswami, Bharat (EPU-Delhi; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

To sum up, this thesis looks at agent behaviour in the laboratory, in the field, and in the market. Firstly, we impose a requirement in the laboratory (Chapter 2) that mimics a regulatory environment (similar to the introduction of a maximum retail price, or a legal fare subject to which an economic transaction must take place), and study individual behaviour subject to our (imposed) requirements. We then study the effect of real-life regulation on the behaviour of economic agents in the field. While the effect of regulation is seen in the field (that is, we see that many auto drivers stick to social norms anchored in the legal fare in Chapter 3), we explicitly study and evaluate the nature of regulation itself in the market against the backdrop of fairness considerations in Chapter 4.In a nutshell, this thesis looks at bargaining from several dimensions which are listed below:1. Cooperative (Chapters 2 and 4) versus non-cooperative (Chapter 3) game theory2. In a laboratory (Chapter 2), a field (Chapter 3), and in market data (Chapter 4)3. Individual decisions (Chapters 2 and 3) versus the social planner’s preferences (Chapter 4).4. With moderate and complete bargaining power possessed by agents.From the above exercise, we learn that bargaining outcomes are empirically determined by bargaining power (at least in the form of statuses), both with and without contraction. Since, the regulated legal fare in the auto rickshaw market is an example of such contraction, we see our agents’ behaviour influenced by it (and more so because of the implicit status differences). We also learn that regulation can be affected by considerations of fairness. Finally, further research can be devoted to more general forms of contraction of the feasible set (which has direct applications on regulatory pricing). We focus on only horizontal forms of contraction and find significant effects on bargaining outcomes. I also feel that dictator and ultimatum games need to be contextualised and taken to the field more often. Finally, regulatory practices could be evaluated, not only in terms of economic criteria such as performance, profits, and welfare etc., but also from psychological standpoints of fairness, trust, and reciprocity etc.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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