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Does Fact-Finding Promote Settlement? Theory and a Test

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  • David L. Dickinson
  • Lynn Hunnicutt

Abstract

Nonbinding recommendations, such as provided by fact-finders, are shown to significantly increase voluntary settlements in bargaining. Theoretically, it is unclear whether recommendations will increase settlement rates. A recommendation may reduce outcome uncertainty, thereby "chilling" bargaining and increasing dispute rates. On the other hand, a recommendation may give the parties a focal point around which an agreement is made. Which of these effects dominates is a question that we consider using theory and data from controlled bargaining experiments. The data show the dominance of a focal point effect for suggestions, highlighting their potential role in improving dispute settlement procedures.(JEL C78, C92, J52) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbi027
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 43 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 401-416

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:2:p:401-416

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Cited by:
  1. Deck, Cary A. & Farmer, Amy, 2009. "Strategic bidding and investments in final offer arbitration: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 361-373, May.
  2. David Dickinson & Lynn Hunnicutt, 2010. "Nonbinding recommendations: the relative effects of focal points versus uncertainty reduction on bargaining outcomes," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(4), pages 615-634, October.
  3. David Dickinson & Lynn Hunnicutt, 2005. "Nonbinding Suggestions: The Relative Effects of Focal Points versus Uncertainty Reduction on Bargaining Outcomes," Working Papers 05-13, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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