Bargaining with Voluntary Transmission of Private Information: Does the Use of Final Offer Arbitration Impede Settlement?
University of Alabama Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies Working Paper No. 00-07-02
30 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2000
Date Written: July 2000
We identify two features of final offer arbitration (FOA) which may impede settlement in a bargaining game where asymmetric information drives the failure to settle. First, under FOA the informed party has an incentive not to voluntarily reveal private information. Revealing this information allows the previously uninformed party to submit a superior offer to the arbitrator to the detriment of the informed party. Second, in a two-type model, the uninformed player may choose to arbitrate all cases, a result which never occurs in a simple litigation game. Such a strategy allows this player to commit to an offer in arbitration that is optimal against the entire distribution of types with whom he must bargain. Each player's offer directly affects the outcome of arbitration under FOA, and it is this feature that generates impediments to settlement that are not observed in a simple litigation game. Both impediments to settlement are removed if bargaining is allowed to take place after potentially binding offers have been submitted to the arbitrator.
Keywords: Final Offer Arbitration, Voluntary Transmission of Private Information, Settlement
JEL Classification: K4, J52, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation