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Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior Under Conventional Arbitration

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  • David E. Bloom

Abstract

This study analyzes a new set of data on the decisions of conventional arbitrators. The main goal is to draw inferences about the extent to which conventional arbitration decisions are fashioned as mechanical compromises of the parties' final offers, without reference to the exogenous facts involved, in different disputes. The results of the analysis are remarkably clear : conventional arbitrators tend to split-the-difference between the parties' final offers with virtually no evidence of systematic reference to the facts of the cases. However, since there is a substantial amount of unexplained variance in the arbitration decisions, this evidence of mechanical compromise behavior should be viewed as characterizing the overall operation of conventional arbitration mechanisms and not the behavior of individual arbitrators in any particular case. Indeed, the results are consistent with the view that individual arbitrators pay close attention to the facts of the cases, but that there is considerable variation in the structure of different arbitrators' preference functions.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom, 1986. "Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior Under Conventional Arbitration," NBER Working Papers 1841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1841
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    1. 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 819-844, July.
    2. Max H. Bazerman, 1985. "Norms of Distributive Justice in Interest Arbitration," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(4), pages 558-570, July.
    3. Orley Ashenfelter, 1985. "Evidence on US Experiences with Dispute Resolution Systems," Working Papers 565, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    4. 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 1503-1528, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, September.
    2. Gibbons, Robert, 1988. "Learning in Equilibrium Models of Arbitration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 896-912, December.
    3. Ashenfelter, O. & Bloom, D., 1990. "Lawyers As Agents Of The Devil In A Prisoner'S Dilemma Game," Papers 57, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    4. Janet Currie, 1991. "Rules, Coordination and Manipulability Among Arbitrators," NBER Working Papers 3821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gabuthy, Yannick & Jacquemet, Nicolas & Marchand, Nadège, 2008. "Does resorting to online dispute resolution promote agreements? Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 259-282, February.
    6. James J. Murphy & Ariel Dinar & Richard E. Howitt & Erin Mastrangelo & Stephen J. Rassenti & Vernon L. Smith, 2006. "Mechanisms for Addressing Third-Party Impacts Resulting From Voluntary Water Transfers," Chapters,in: Using Experimental Methods in Environmental and Resource Economics, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Armstrong, Michael J. & Hurley, W. J., 2002. "Arbitration using the closest offer principle of arbitrator behavior," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 19-26, January.
    8. Ashenfelter, Orley & Bloom, David E. & Dahl, Gordon B., 2013. "Lawyers as Agents of the Devil in a Prisoner's Dilemma Game: Evidence from Long Run Play," IZA Discussion Papers 7245, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Sigbjørn Birkeland, 2013. "Negotiation under Possible Third-Party Resolution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(2), pages 281-299.
    10. Henry S. Farber & Max H. Bazerman, 1987. "Divergent Expectations as a Cause of Disagreement in Bargaining: Evidence from a Comparison of Arbitration Schemes."," NBER Working Papers 2139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Janet Currie, 1989. "Wages and Arbitrator Behavior," UCLA Economics Working Papers 562, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. María Mercedes Adamuz & Clara Ponsatí, 2009. "Arbitration systems and negotiations," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 13(3), pages 279-303, September.
    13. Nathalie Chappe, 2001. "L'analyse économique d'un mode de résolution des litiges : l'arbitrage," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 15(4), pages 187-208.

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