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What if Achilles and the tortoise were to bargain? An argument against interim agreements

Samet, Dov (2009): What if Achilles and the tortoise were to bargain? An argument against interim agreements.

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Abstract

Zeno's paradoxes of motion, which claim that moving from one point to another cannot be accomplished in finite time, seem to be of serious concern when moving towards an agreement is concerned. Parkinson's Law of Triviality implies that such an agreement cannot be reached in finite time. By explicitly modeling dynamic processes of reaching interim agreements and using arguments similar to Zeno's, we show that if utilities are von Neumann-Morgenstern, then no such process can bring about an agreement in finite time in linear bargaining problems. To extend this result for all bargaining problems, we characterize a particular path illustrated by \cite{ra}, and show that no agreement is reached along this path in finite time.

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