Journal of Consumer Policy

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 21–32 | Cite as

Reducing Demand for Litigation in Consumer Disputes—a Randomized Field Experiment with Social Information

  • Andreas Maaløe JespersenEmail author
Original Paper


It has long been argued that alternative dispute resolution is superior to traditional court litigation. The paper reviews traditional and behavioural arguments and findings for why litigation rates remain high. The paper then reports on a natural field experiment designed to test how to improve disputes between consumers and businesses in Denmark resolution by including social information into the dispute process. The experiment demonstrates that social information significantly affects litigants’ need for litigation, but that the effect on settlement rates is non-significant. The results are discussed along with suggestions for possible future research into improving the willingness to cooperate in consumer disputes.


Consumer policy Alternative dispute resolution Negotiation theory Behavioural law and economics 



Andreas Maaløe Jespersen is a Ph.D. student at the Roskilde University, Department of Communication and Arts ( I am grateful to the Danish Consumer and Competition Authority for the opportunity to collaborate on the experiment, as well as to Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Katrine Lund Skov, and Laurits Rohden Skov for insightful comments throughout the process. Finnally, I must thank the two anonymous reviewers for truly constructive and helpful criticism.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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