NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Models of Arbitrator Behavior: Theory and Evidence

Orley Ashenfelter, David E. Bloom

NBER Working Paper No. 1149
Issued in June 1983
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper analyzes and compares arbitrator behavior under conventional and final-offer arbitration. Simple models of arbitrator behavior are developed under each of these alternative mechanisms. These models are estimated and tested using data on the outcomes of both forms of arbitrationin New Jersey, a state in which arbitration is mandatory for unresolved pay disputes involving police officer unions and public employers. The major findings are (1) that the high proportion of union victories under final-offer arbitration were generated by a set of impartial arbitrators applying the same standards used in conventional arbitration, and (2) that union bargainers appear to be considerably more risk averse than employer bargainers, with the wage increases under final-offer arbitration having a lower mean and a lower variance than under conventional arbitration.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1149

Published: Ashenfelter, Orley and David E. Bloom. "Models of Arbitrator Behavior: Theory and Evidence." American Economic Reveiw, Vol. 74, No. 1, (March 1984), pp. 111-124.

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