Aspirations and Settlement
Russell B. Korobkin
UCLA School of Law
Cornell Law Review, Vol. 80, pp. 1-61, 2002
UCLA School of Law Research Paper No. 02-9
The legal-academic literature on litigation settlement describes a range of factors that affect settlement outcomes, but litigant "aspirations", or ideal goals, are not among them. Negotiation scholars, however, routinely claim that high aspirations can improve bargaining outcomes. This article presents a theory of settlement that reconciles these competing approaches by situating negotiator aspirations within the standard legal-academic model of settlement. Based on that theory, the article offers a series of hypotheses concerning the role of aspirations in settlement negotiations, and then reports the results of experimental tests that demonstrate the hypotheses to be plausible. Finally, in light of the theory of the role of aspirations, the article reconsiders the usual prescriptive advice offered by negotiation scholars that litigants should set high aspirations for themselves in bargaining situations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Date posted: May 29, 2002