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Litigation and the Timing of Settlement: Evidence from Commercial Disputes

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Grajzl
  • Katarina Zajc

Although an overwhelming proportion of all legal disputes end in settlement, the determinants of the timing of settlement remain empirically underexplored. We draw on a novel dataset on the duration of commercial disputes in Slovenia to study how the timing of settlement is shaped by the stages and features of the litigation process. Using competing risk regression analysis, we find that events such as court-annexed mediation and the first court session, which enable the disputing parties to refine their respective expectations about the case outcome, in general reduce case duration to settlement. The magnitude of the respective effects, however, varies with time. Completion of subsequent court sessions, in contrast, does not affect the time to settlement. Judicial workload affects the timing of settlement indirectly, via the effect on the timing of the first court session. We also examine the effect of other case and party characteristics.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5520.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5520.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5520
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  18. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
  19. Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina & Grajzl, Peter & Sustersic, Janez & Zajc, Katarina, 2012. "Court output, judicial staffing, and the demand for court services: Evidence from Slovenian courts of first instance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 19-29.
  20. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-1097, September.
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  22. James H. Anderson & Daivd S. Bernstein & Cheryl W. Gray, 2005. "Judicial Systems in Transition Economies : Assessing the Past, Looking to the Future," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7351, September.
  23. Patrick J. Kaufmann & Louis W. Stern, 1988. "Relational Exchange Norms, Perceptions of Unfairness, and Retained Hostility in Commercial Litigation," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 32(3), pages 534-552, September.
  24. Morgan Westéus, 2014. "Settlement probability asymmetries in the Swedish Labour Court," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 485-512, December.
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