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Rules, Coordination and Manipulability Among Arbitrators

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  • Janet Currie

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that the variance of arbitrated wage settlements is systematically lower than the variance of wage settlements negotiated without arbitration using a panel of contracts between teachers and school boards in the Canadian province of British Columbia. This finding is interpreted as evidence that arbitrators coordinate their decisions. However, coordination on a rule leaves arbitrators as a group vulnerable to manipulation by coalitions of employers or employees that understand the rule. Because successful manipulation of arbitrators undermines the credibility of the institution, arbitrators as a group have incentives to change their rules from time to time. Evidence is presented that in BC, school boards were more successful than teachers at manipulating arbitrators, and that arbitrators responded by changing their rule.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3821.

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Date of creation: Aug 1991
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, January 1994
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3821

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  1. David E. Bloom, 1986. "Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior Under Conventional Arbitration," NBER Working Papers 1841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Orley Ashenfelter, 1987. "Arbitrator Behavior," Working Papers 599, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Bloom, David E & Cavanagh, Christopher L, 1986. "An Analysis of the Selection of Arbitrators," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 408-22, June.
  4. repec:fth:prinin:285 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Craig A. Olson & Barbara Rau, 1991. "Negotiated Settlements and Learning From the Arbitration Experience," Working Papers 665, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Crawford, Vincent P, 1981. "Arbitration and Conflict Resolution in Labor-Management Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 205-10, May.
  7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Currie, Janet, 1990. "Negotiator Behavior and the Occurence of Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 416-20, May.
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