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Is the buyer really king? A meta-analysis on the influence of buyer and seller roles on economic negotiation outcomes
A prominent finding in negotiation research points towards a buyer advantage over the seller when it comes to individual negotiation outcomes. This general finding is also in line with common believes in practice that often see the buyer as “the king” in negotiations. In this meta-analysis (k = 285 effect sizes; n = 21,796 participants) we empirically review the existing evidence for such role effects. Surprisingly, and in contrast to the commonly held believe, we find that, on average, sellers outperform buyers. We further find in our moderator analysis that this average effect varies substantially and investigate under which conditions buyer or seller advantages exist. Effect sizes that are based on samples with experienced negotiators show a buyer advantage, whereas other samples do not. Further, negotiator goals, their power position and asymmetrical distributive stances could be identified as moderators.