Discussion paper

DP14920 Bargaining over a divisible good in the market for lemons

We study bargaining with divisibility and interdependent values. A buyer and a seller trade a durable good divided into finitely many units. The seller is privately informed about the good's quality, which can be either high or low. Gains from trade are positive and decreasing in the number of units traded by the parties. In every period, the buyer makes a take-it-or-leave-it offer that specifies a price and a number of units. Divisibility introduces a new channel of competition between the buyer's present and future selves. The buyer's temptation to split the purchases of the high-quality good is detrimental to him. As bargaining frictions vanish and the good becomes arbitrarily divisible, the high-quality good is traded smoothly over time and the buyer's payoff shrinks to zero.


Gerardi, D, L Maestri and I Monzon (2020), ‘DP14920 Bargaining over a divisible good in the market for lemons‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14920. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp14920