Affiliation Bias in Arbitration: An Experimental Approach

53 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2016  

Sergio Puig

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Anton Strezhnev

Harvard University - Department of Government

Date Written: August 25, 2016

Abstract

A characteristic feature of arbitration, a growing form of dispute settlement, is that each disputing party appoints an arbitrator. Commentators, however, suggest that partyappointed arbitrators tend to be ‘biased’. Evaluating this claim from data on historical disputes is problematic due to non-random selection of arbitrators. Here, we use a novel experimental approach to estimate the causal effect of party-appointments. Using a new dataset of 266 participants around the world we confirm that professional arbitrators suffer from affiliation effects — a cognitive predisposition to favor the appointing party. At a methodological level, we offer a solution to the problem of measuring affiliation effects in a world confounded by selection effects.

Keywords: Arbitration, Dispute Settlement, Bias of Party-Appointed Arbitrators, Affiliation Effects

Suggested Citation

Puig, Sergio and Strezhnev, Anton, Affiliation Bias in Arbitration: An Experimental Approach (August 25, 2016). Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 16-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2830241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2830241

Sergio Puig (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Anton Strezhnev

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/astrezhnev

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