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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedman, Daniel & Wittman, Donald, 2003. "Litigation With Symmetric Bargaining And Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7vj7k9f6, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt7vj7k9f6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kathryn E. Spier, 1992. "The Dynamics of Pretrial Negotiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 93-108.
    2. Ausubel, Lawrence M. & Cramton, Peter & Deneckere, Raymond J., 2002. "Bargaining with incomplete information," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 1897-1945 Elsevier.
    3. Kennan, John & Wilson, Robert, 1993. "Bargaining with Private Information," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 45-104, March.
    4. 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.
    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. 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.
    7. Urs Schweizer, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement under Two-Sided Incomplete Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 163-177.
    8. Kalyan Chatterjee & William Samuelson, 1983. "Bargaining under Incomplete Information," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 31(5), pages 835-851, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ayuso, Mercedes & Bermúdez, Lluís & Santolino, Miguel, 2015. "The dynamics of one-sided incomplete information in motor disputes," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 77-85.
    2. Chopard, Bertrand & Cortade, Thomas & Langlais, Eric, 2010. "Trial and settlement negotiations between asymmetrically skilled parties," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 18-27, March.
    3. Samantha Bielen & Peter Grajzl & Wim Marneffe, 2017. "Understanding the Time to Court Case Resolution: A Competing Risks Analysis Using Belgian Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 6450, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Lee, Yoon-Ho Alex & Klerman, Daniel, 2016. "The Priest-Klein hypotheses: Proofs and generality," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 59-76.
    5. Peter Grajzl & Katarina Zajc, 2017. "Litigation and the timing of settlement: evidence from commercial disputes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 287-319, October.
    6. Daniel Klerman & Yoon-Ho Alex Lee, 2014. "Inferences from Litigated Cases," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 209-248.
    7. Dari-Mattiacci, Giuseppe & Deffains, Bruno & Lovat, Bruno, 2011. "The dynamics of the legal system," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 95-107, June.
    8. Madhav S. Aney, 2012. "Conflict with Quitting Rights: A Mechanism Design Approach," Working Papers 18-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.

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