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Rules, Coordination and Manipulability Among Arbitrators

  • Janet Currie

This paper provides evidence that the variance of arbitrated wage settlements is systematically lower than the variance of wage settlements negotiated without arbitration using a panel of contracts between teachers and school boards in the Canadian province of British Columbia. This finding is interpreted as evidence that arbitrators coordinate their decisions. However, coordination on a rule leaves arbitrators as a group vulnerable to manipulation by coalitions of employers or employees that understand the rule. Because successful manipulation of arbitrators undermines the credibility of the institution, arbitrators as a group have incentives to change their rules from time to time. Evidence is presented that in BC, school boards were more successful than teachers at manipulating arbitrators, and that arbitrators responded by changing their rule.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3821.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3821.

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Date of creation: Aug 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, January 1994
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3821
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Currie, Janet, 1990. "Negotiator Behavior and the Occurence of Disputes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 416-20, May.
  2. Bloom, David E, 1986. "Empirical Models of Arbitrator Behavior under Conventional Arbitration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 578-85, November.
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1987. "Arbitrator Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 342-46, May.
  4. Craig A. Olson & Barbara Rau, 1991. "Negotiated Settlements and Learning From the Arbitration Experience," Working Papers 665, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. David E. Bloom & Christopher L. Cavanagh, 1986. "An Analysis of the Selection of Arbitrators," NBER Working Papers 1938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Crawford, Vincent P, 1981. "Arbitration and Conflict Resolution in Labor-Management Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 205-10, May.
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