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Divergent Expectations as a Cause of Disagreement in Bargaining: Evidence from a Comparison of Arbitration Schemes."

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  • Henry S. Farber
  • Max H. Bazerman

Abstract

One prominent explanation for disagreement in bargaining is that the parties have divergent and relatively optimistic expectations regarding the ultimate outcome if they fail to agree. The fact that settlement rates are much higher where final-offer arbitration is the dispute settlement procedure than where conventional arbitration is the dispute settlement procedure is used as the basis of a test of the role of divergent expectations in causing disagreement in negotiations. Calculations of identical-expectations contract zones using existing estimates of models of arbitrator behavior yield larger identical-expectations contract zones in conventional arbitration than in final-offer arbitration. This evidence clearly suggests that divergent expectations alone are not an adequate explanation of disagreement in labor-management negotiations. A number of alternative explanations for disagreement are suggested and evaluated.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2139 Note: LS
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    Cited by:

    1. Zeng, Dao-Zhi, 2006. "How powerful is arbitration procedure AFOA?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 227-240, June.
    2. Marselli, Riccardo & McCannon, Bryan C. & Vannini, Marco, 2015. "Bargaining in the shadow of arbitration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 356-368.
    3. Juan Pablo Montero, 2004. "A model of arbitration in regulation," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 219, Econometric Society.
    4. Babcock, Linda & Loewenstein, George & Wang, Xianghong, 1995. "The relationship between uncertainty, the contract zone, and efficiency in a bargaining experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 475-485, August.
    5. David Dickinson, 2005. "Bargaining Outcomes with Double-Offer Arbitration," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 8(2), pages 145-166, June.
    6. Ashenfelter, Orley, et al, 1992. "An Experimental Comparison of Dispute Rates in Alternative Arbitration Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1407-1433, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    9. 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.
    10. Orley Ashenfelter & Gordon B. Dahl, 2003. "Strategic Bargaining Behavior, Self-Serving Biases, and the Role of Expert Agents An Empirical Study of Final-Offer Arbitration," Working Papers 857, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    11. Fernandez, Raquel & Glazer, Jacob, 1991. "Striking for a Bargain between Two Completely Informed Agents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 240-252, March.
    12. Dickinson, David L., 2006. "The chilling effect of optimism: The case of final-offer arbitration," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 17-30, February.
    13. Ali, S. Nageeb M., 2006. "Waiting to settle: Multilateral bargaining with subjective biases," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 109-137, September.
    14. Juan-Pablo Montero, 2005. "A Model of Final Offer Arbitration in Regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 23-46, July.
    15. Cary Deck & Amy Farmer & Dao-Zhi Zeng, 2007. "Amended final-offer arbitration over an uncertain value: A comparison with CA and FOA," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(4), pages 439-454, December.

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