Research Handbooks in Law and Economics series
Edited by Cynthia L. Estlund and Michael L. Wachter
This chapter focuses on the appropriate design of the forum for adjudication of employment disputes. By the term “adjudication,” we refer to the resolution of “rights” disputes – disputes over the application of a contract or the application of a statutory or regulatory rule or policy to a particular situation. We are not referring to “interests” disputes – disputes over the substantive content of an initial labor-management contract or renewal agreement, or the analog in a non-unionized setting, such as the construction of rules to govern the workplace. In considering the design question, we assume that all involved actors (employees, employers, unions, etc.) retain whatever endowments they currently possess in terms of intelligence, energy, income, occupational status, access to resources, union representation, and statutory and contractual rights. Holding these endowments constant, we ask what institutional arrangements for adjudicating rights disputes would do the best job of resolving those disputes in a fair, efficient manner for workers, managers and the public generally.
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