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Litigation With Symmetric Bargaining And Two-Sided Incomplete Information

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  • Friedman, Daniel
  • Wittman, Donald

Abstract

We construct game theoretic foundations for bargaining in the shadow of a trial. Plaintiff and defendant both have noisy signals of a common-value trial judgment and make simultaneous offers to settle. If the offers cross, they settle on the average offer; otherwise, both litigants incur an additional cost and the judgment is imposed at trial. We obtain an essentially unique NE and characterize its conditional trial probabilities and judgments. Some of the results are intuitive, e.g., an increase in trial cost (or a decrease in the range of possible outcomes) reduces the probability of a trial. Other results reverse findings from previous literature. For example, trials are possible even when the defendant’s signal indicates a higher potential judgment than the plaintiff’s signal, and when trial costs are low, the middling cases (rather than the extreme cases) are more likely to settle.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz in its series Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt7vj7k9f6.

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Date of creation: 10 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt7vj7k9f6

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  1. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
  2. Kennan, J. & Wilson, R., 1991. "Bargaining with Private Information," Working Papers 90-01rev, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  3. Shavell, Steven, 1996. "Any Frequency of Plaintiff Victory at Trial Is Possible," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 493-501, June.
  4. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & Raymond J. Deneckere, 2002. "Bargaining with Incomplete Information," Papers of Peter Cramton 02barg, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Mar 2001.
  5. Daughety, Andrew F. & Reinganum, Jennifer F., 1994. "Settlement negotiations with two-sided asymmetric information: Model duality, information distribution, and efficiency," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 283-298, September.
  6. Spier, Kathryn E, 1992. "The Dynamics of Pretrial Negotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 93-108, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Chopard, Bertrand & Cortade, Thomas & Langlais, Eric, 2008. "Trial and settlement negotiations between asymmetrically skilled parties," MPRA Paper 8995, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011. "The dynamics of the legal system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 95-107.

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