Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Lawyers as Agents of the Devil in a Prisoner's Dilemma Game

Contents:

Author Info

  • Orley Ashenfelter

    (Princeton University)

  • David E. Bloom

    (Harvard University)

  • Gordon B. Dahl

    (University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

Do the parties in a typical dispute face incentives similar to those in the classic prisoner’s dilemma game? In this paper, we explore whether the costs and benefits of legal representation are such that each party seeks legal representation in the hope of exploiting the other party, while knowing full well that failing to do so will open up the possibility of being exploited. The paper first shows how it is possible to test for the presence of such an incentive structure in a typical dispute resolution system. It then reports estimates of the incentives for the parties to obtain legal representation in wage disputes that were settled by final-offer arbitration in New Jersey. The paper also reports briefly on similar studies of data from discharge grievances, courtannexed disputes in Pittsburgh, and child custody disputes in California. In each case, the data provide evidence that the parties face strong individual incentives to obtain legal representation which makes the parties jointly worse off. Using our New Jersey data, we find that expert agents may well have played a productive role in moderating the biases of their clients, but only early on in the history of the system. Over time, the parties slowly evolved to a non-cooperative equilibrium where the use of lawyers becomes nearly universal, despite the fact that agreeing not to hire lawyers is cheaper and does not appear to alter arbitration outcomes.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/574.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/574.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> http://n2t.net/ark:/88435/574.pdf [302 Found]--> http://n2t-pre.cdlib.org/ark:/88435/574.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (David Long)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1451.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:574

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098
Phone: 609 258-4041
Fax: 609 258-2907
Email:
Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Prisoners dilemma; new jersey; criminal courts; lawyers; Pittsburgh; child custody; California;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
  2. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & David Bloom, 1981. "Models of Arbitrator Behavior: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 526, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  5. repec:fth:prinin:183 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, 1978. "Adjudication as a Private Good," NBER Working Papers 0263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:fth:prinin:219 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1987. "Arbitrator Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 342-46, May.
  9. Kiefer, Nicholas M., 1978. "Federally subsidized occupational training and the employment and earnings of male trainees," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 111-125, August.
  10. David E. Bloom, 1986. "Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior Under Conventional Arbitration," NBER Working Papers 1841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Farber, Henry S & Bazerman, Max H, 1986. "The General Basis of Arbitrator Behavior: An Empirical Analysis of Conventional and Final-Offer Arbitration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1503-28, November.
  12. Richard N. Block & Jack Stieber, 1987. "The impact of attorneys and arbitrators on arbitration awards," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 40(4), pages 543-555, July.
  13. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  14. Farber, Henry S & Bazerman, Max H, 1986. "The General Basis of Arbitrator Behavior: An Empirical Analysis of Conventional and Final-Offer Arbitration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 819-44, July.
  15. Charles F. Adams Jr. & Robert F. Cook & Arthur J. Maurice, 1983. "A Pooled Time-Series Analysis of the Job-Creation Impact of Public Service Employment Grants to Large Cities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(2), pages 283-294.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Bruce D. Meyer, 1992. "Policy Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Experiments," NBER Working Papers 4197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vincent Glode & Richard C. Green & Richard Lowery, 2012. "Financial Expertise as an Arms Race," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(5), pages 1723-1759, October.
  3. Jean Olson Lanjouw, 1993. "Patent Protection: Of What Value and for How Long?," NBER Working Papers 4475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Henry S. Farber & Michael J. White, 1993. "A Comparison of Formal and Informal Dispute Resolution in Medical Malpractice," NBER Working Papers 4371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert M. Hutchens, . "A Path to Good Jobs? Unemployment and Low Wages: The Distribution of Opportunity for Young Unskilled Workers," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive 11, Levy Economics Institute.
  6. repec:fth:prinin:314 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Iossa, Elisabetta & Jullien, Bruno, 2007. "The Market for Lawyers: The Value of Information on the Quality of Legal Services," IDEI Working Papers 485, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  8. Dr Ronald W. McQuaid, 1994. "Partnerships And Urban Economic Development," Working Paper p13, Departement of Economics, Napier University.
  9. Halla, Martin, 2007. "Divorce and the Excess Burden of Lawyers," IZA Discussion Papers 2962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jack Hirshleifer & Evan Osborne, 1996. "The Legal Battle," UCLA Economics Working Papers 749, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Jack Hirshleifer & Evan Osborne, 1999. "Truth and the Legal Battle," UCLA Economics Working Papers 790, UCLA Department of Economics.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:574. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.