European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 373-388

First online:

Freedom to bargain and disputes’ resolution

  • Yannick GabuthyAffiliated withCRESE, University of Franche-Comté Email author 
  • , Eve-Angéline LambertAffiliated withCRESE, University of Franche-Comté

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When two parties are embedded in a dispute, they generally have the possibility to bargain before an external solution is imposed to them, notably through alternative dispute resolution. This bargaining phase may either result from a choice of disputants to negotiate or be imposed by laws or legal contracts. The aim of this paper is to analyze the differences in terms of parties’ bargaining behavior, depending upon the fact that bargaining has been imposed to them or comes from their own will. We conduct an experimental analysis and find out that, under some conditions, a procedure in which parties are forced to bargain leads to more agreements than when parties are free whether to do so. This main result is interpreted in the light of behavioral economics.


Dispute resolution Behavioral economics Experimental analysis

JEL Classifiction

C91 D03 K41