Does Fact-Finding Promote Settlement? Theory and a Test

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David L. Dickinson Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Nonbinding recommendations, such as provided by fact-finders, are shown to significantly increase voluntary settlements in bargaining. Theoretically, it is unclear whether recommendations will increase settlement rates. A recommendation may reduce outcome uncertainty, thereby "chilling" bargaining and increasing dispute rates. On the other hand, a recommendation may give the parties a focal point around which an agreement is made. Which of these effects dominates is a question that we consider using theory and data from controlled bargaining experiments. The data show the dominance of a focal point effect for suggestions, highlighting their potential role in improving dispute settlement procedures.

Additional Information

Dickinson, David L., and Lynn Hunnicutt (2005), Does Fact-Finding Promote Settlement? Theory and a Test. Economic Inquiry, 43(2): 401-16. (April 2005) Published by Wiley-Blackwell (ISSN: 1465-7295) DOI: 10.1093/ei/cbi027 The definitive version is available at
Language: English
Date: 2005

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