Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2021-01-05

Settlement rates and settlement stages in compulsory interest arbitration

Document type Article
Author Rose, Joseph B.
Author Piczak, Michael
Journal Relations Industrielles / Industrial Relations
Volume 51
Date 1996 Fall
ISSN 0034-379X
Pages 643-664


One of the prevailing concerns about compulsory interest arbitration is its possible effect on genuine collective bargaining. Numerous studies report overall settlement rates (i.e., the proportion of settlements achieve prior to the final impasse procedure) are lower in arbitration systems than in strike-based systems. A study attempts to provide a broader assessment of the effect of compulsory arbitration by calculating settlements rates for different settlement stages. Based on over 28,000 collective agreements negotiated in Ontario between 1982 and 1990, the results show that settlement rates were generally lower under arbitration. At the same time, settlement behavior varied considerably across arbitration systems. These differences are associated with specific institutional and organizational aspects in bargaining.