IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlawec/doi10.1086-689704.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why Wait to Settle? An Experimental Test of the Asymmetric-Information Hypothesis

Author

Listed:
  • Sean P. Sullivan

Abstract

The US legal system encourages civil litigants to quickly settle their disputes, yet lengthy and expensive delays often precede private settlements. The causes of these delays are uncertain. This paper describes an economic experiment designed to test one popular hypothesis: that asymmetric information might be a contributing cause of observed settlement delays. Experimental results provide strong evidence that asymmetric information can delay settlements, increasing average time to settlement by as much as 90 percent in some treatments. This causal relationship is robustly observed across different bargaining environments. On the other hand, results do not obviously confirm all aspects of the game-theoretic explanation for this relationship and suggest that asymmetric information may be only one of several contributing causes of settlement delay.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean P. Sullivan, 2016. "Why Wait to Settle? An Experimental Test of the Asymmetric-Information Hypothesis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 497-525.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/689704
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/689704
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/689704
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barry Nalebuff, 1987. "Credible Pretrial Negotiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(2), pages 198-210, Summer.
    2. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
    3. Drew Fudenberg & David M. Kreps & David K. Levine, 2008. "On the Robustness of Equilibrium Refinements," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 5, pages 67-93 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    5. Kessler, Daniel, 1996. "Institutional Causes of Delay in the Settlement of Legal Disputes," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 432-460, October.
    6. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
    7. Binmore, Ken, 1996. "A Note on Backward Induction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 135-137, November.
    8. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin A & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "On Expectations and the Monetary Stakes in Ultimatum Games," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 25(3), pages 289-301.
    9. Forsythe, Robert & Kennan, John & Sopher, Barry, 1991. "An Experimental Analysis of Strikes in Bargaining Games with One-Sided Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 253-278, March.
    10. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    11. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
    12. Wang, Gyu Ho & Kim, Jeong-Yoo & Yi, Jong-Goo, 1994. "Litigation and Pretrial Negotiation under Incomplete Information," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 187-200, April.
    13. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-384, June.
    14. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:07:y:2005:i:02:n:s0219198905000442 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Ouwersloot, Hans & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1998. "Errors in probability updating behaviour : Measurement and impact analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 535-563, October.
    16. Roth, Alvin E & Murnighan, J Keith & Schoumaker, Francoise, 1988. "The Deadline Effect in Bargaining: Some Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 806-823, September.
    17. Swamy, P A V B & Arora, S S, 1972. "The Exact Finite Sample Properties of the Estimators of Coefficients in the Error Components Regression Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(2), pages 261-275, March.
    18. 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.
    19. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    20. Hylton, Keith N, 1993. "Asymmetric Information and the Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 187-210, January.
    21. Roth, Alvin E. & Malouf, Michael W. K. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 1981. "Sociological versus strategic factors in bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 153-177, June.
    22. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    23. Loewenstein, George, et al, 1993. "Self-Serving Assessments of Fairness and Pretrial Bargaining," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 135-159, January.
    24. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1993. "Bargaining with Private Information," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 45-104, March.
    25. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
    26. Fournier, Gary M & Zuehlke, Thomas W, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement: An Empirical Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 189-195, May.
    27. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1981. "Games of perfect information, predatory pricing and the chain-store paradox," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 92-100, August.
    28. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
    29. Amnon Rapoport & Ido Erev & Rami Zwick, 1995. "An Experimental Study of Buyer-Seller Negotiation with One-Sided Incomplete Information and Time Discounting," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(3), pages 377-394, March.
    30. Babcock, Linda & Landeo, Claudia M., 2004. "Settlement escrows: an experimental study of a bilateral bargaining game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 401-417, March.
    31. Farmer, Amy & Pecorino, Paul & Stango, Victor, 2004. "The Causes of Bargaining Failure: Evidence from Major League Baseball," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 543-568, October.
    32. Muhamet Yildiz, 2004. "Waiting to Persuade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 223-248.
    33. Schweinzer, Paul, 2010. "Sequential bargaining with common values," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 109-121, January.
    34. Gul, Faruk & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1988. "On Delay in Bargaining with One-Sided Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 601-611, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/689704. 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: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.