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Decision Making in the Absence of Successful Fact Finding: Theory and Experimental Evidence on Adversarial Versus Inquisitorial Systems of Adjudication

18 Pages Posted: 25 May 2000 Last revised: 4 Dec 2007

Jeffrey S. Parker

George Mason University School of Law

Michael K. Block

University of Arizona

Abstract

In this paper we report on our experimental findings concerning the differences in decisional treatment between adversarial and inquisitorial systems where the proceedings fail to achieve explicit revelation of decisive facts. In particular, we use our data both: (1) to test the interesting hypothesis put forth by Shin (1998) that adversarial versus inquisitorial decision systems will differ in their reaction to the case of non-revelation in a predictably systematic manner; and (2) to shed some light on the purely distributional consequences of both procedures. While we find that our decision makers do not follow the inferential process postulated by Shin, it does appear that adversarial decision makers have a stronger tendency than inquisitorial decision makers to favor equal division of the amount at stake.

Keywords: decision making, fact finding, adversarial inquisitorial, adjudication

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Parker, Jeffrey S. and Block, Michael K., Decision Making in the Absence of Successful Fact Finding: Theory and Experimental Evidence on Adversarial Versus Inquisitorial Systems of Adjudication. International Review of Law and Economics, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 89-105, March 2004; George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper 00-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=229357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.229357

Jeffrey S. Parker (Contact Author)

George Mason University School of Law ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
(703) 993-8055 (Phone)

Michael K. Block

University of Arizona ( email )

401 McClelland Hall P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-2854 (Phone)

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