Linda Babcock

Linda Babcock
Carnegie Mellon University | CMU · School of Public Policy & Management

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65
Publications
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5,903
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Publications

Publications (65)
Article
A large body of research demonstrates that women encounter severe penalties for violating gender stereotypes. In this paper, we explore the conditions under which the reverse is true—when being subject to a stereotype can actually benefit a woman compared to a man who is not subject to the same stereotype. In particular, we suggest that in situatio...
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Policy makers, academics, and media reports suggest that women could shrink the gender pay gap by negotiating more effectively for higher compensation. Yet women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated. Research shows that women are penali...
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This article explores the implications of a negotiator setting high aspirations on the counterpart's assessments of the negotiator and future cooperation toward the negotiator. Participants were 134 undergraduates acting as buyers or sellers in a single-issue price negotiation. Buyers received instructions to set more or less ambitious aspirations....
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Labor market policies succeed or fail at least in part depending on how well they reflect or account for behavioral responses. Insights from behavioral economics, which allow for realistic deviations from standard economic assumptions about behavior, have consequences for the design and functioning of labor market policies. We review key implicatio...
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Abundant research has documented that incidental factors (cognitive and emotional) can influence both judgment and choice. This paper tested such influences in the field, by assessing the impact of weather during the visit of prospective undergraduate students, on their decision to enroll in the visited school. As expected, cloudiness during their...
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In this paper, we run a series of experiments in order to investigate one possible cause of inconsistency in people’s behavior and concerns regarding online privacy. Even though individuals claim that privacy is very important, many end up revealing considerable private information in online social networks. It is possible that individuals suffer f...
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Previous research shows that initiating compensation negotiations is socially risky for women (Bowles, Babcock, & Lai, 2007). The current research investigates whether there are ways women can ask to minimize these social risks. In three studies, we test impressions created by alternative frames and justifications for initiating compensation negoti...
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Women face a compensation negotiation dilemma in which they have to weigh the economic benefits of asking for higher pay with the social risks of defying prescriptive sex stereotypes (Bowles, Babcock, & Lai, 2007). In four experiments, we show that enhancing the legitimacy of women's compensation requests does not eliminate the social risk of askin...
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Although a substantial empirical literature has found associations between judges' political orientation and their judicial decisions, the nature of the relationship between policy preferences and constitutional reasoning remains unclear. In this experimental study, law students were asked to determine the constitutionality of a hypothetical law, w...
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This research describes the distribution of changes in labor market outcomes for individuals in a region disrupted by severe economic restructuring. We use data from western Pennsylvania to compare individuals' 1990 labor market outcomes with those they would have expected had the economic characteristics of the region remained unchanged for the pr...
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Using data on teacher contract negotiations under final-offer arbitration, this paper investigates the causes of impasses in contract negotiations and finds some support for each of three perspectives: game-theoretic, psychological, and political. The large number of “consent awards” suggests that negotiators frequently wish to avoid the political...
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This article utilizes a unique data set to explore whether uncertainty about arbitration influences the likelihood that negotiators will use it. We use experimental data on decisions made by arbitrators in hypothetical scenarios to calculate a measure of uncertainty for each arbitrator. These data are matched to field data on contract negotiations...
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Debate about how to best interpret the Constitution often revolves around interpretive methodologies (e.g., originalism or expansive interpretation). This article examines whether individuals' political orientation influences the methodologies they prefer to use to interpret the Constitution. We study this proposed relationship using a survey of fe...
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Unlike typical negotiation experiments, these studies investigated when men and women initiate negotiations in the absence of overt prescriptions to negotiate. Using a new experimental paradigm, the authors showed that the framing of situations is a critical driver of gender differences in initiating negotiations. Drawing on literature on language,...
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This paper studies experimentally the impact of the split-award statute, where the state takes a share of the plaintiff's punitive damage award, on litigation outcomes. Our findings indicate that dispute rates are significantly lower when bargaining is performed under the split-award institution. Defendants’ litigation losses and plaintiffs’ net co...
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Four experiments show that gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations may be explained by differential treatment of men and women when they attempt to negotiate. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants evaluated written accounts of candidates who did or did not initiate negotiations for higher compensation. Evaluators penalized fema...
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Although a substantial literature finds empirical associations between political preferences and judicial decisions, no study has established whether judges would declare a law unconstitutional based on their policy preferences or whether judges are actually aware of the influence of their preferences. This paper identifies cognitive processes that...
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The authors propose 2 categories of situational moderators of gender in negotiation: situational ambiguity and gender triggers. Reducing the degree of situational ambiguity constrains the influence of gender on negotiation. Gender triggers prompt divergent behavioral responses as a function of gender. Field and lab studies (1 and 2) demonstrated th...
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We explore the existence of wage spillovers in public sector teacher contract negotiations. We focus on the role that informal social comparisons have in determining wages. Using a combination of survey and administrative data, we estimate the relationships among a district's negotiated salary and the wages negotiated in that district's reference d...
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This empirical paper demonstrates that political orientation affects the interpretive methods (e.g., originalism) that individuals prefer to use to interpret the Constitution. As a consequence, the sworn allegiance of a judge (or judicial candidate) to a particular interpretive methodology, even if faithfully followed, simply cannot guarantee const...
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Two experiments show that sex differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations may be explained by differential treatment of men and women when they attempt to negotiate. In Experiment 1, participants evaluated candidates who either accepted compensation offers without comment or attempted to negotiate higher compensation. Men only penalized...
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Unlike typical negotiation experiments, we investigate when people initiate negotiations when there are no overt prescriptions to negotiate. In a novel paradigm, participants played a word game and were subsequently offered the lowest compensation possible by the experimenter. Consistently, women asked the experimenter for greater compensation much...
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When Linda Babcock asked why so many male graduate students were teaching their own courses and most female students were assigned as assistants, her dean said: "More men ask. The women just don't ask." It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don't know that change is...
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Study explores implications of high aspirations for potential future cooperation with one’s negotiating counterpart. Participants were 134 undergraduate students acting as buyers or sellers in a price negotiation. Buyers were assigned more or less ambitious aspirations. Buyers with more ambitious aspirations negotiated a greater percentage of the s...
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Abstract This paper tests predictions from bargaining theory about how private information, patience, and bargaining disutility aect the division of surplus between negotiating parties. We do so using the responses to a novel survey of 1,500 new car buyers in California that asks buyers detailed questions about their bargaining behavior, their sear...
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Authors demonstrate the potential for backlash against assertive female negotiators in a hiring experiment. Participants were 119 North American undergraduate students who assessed the impression created by a job candidate based on a resume and interview notes. Interview notes indicated whether the candidate was male or female and whether s/he nego...
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This paper reports the results of a bargaining experiment. We follow the pre-trial bargaining model of Gertner and Miller (1995) under uncertainty and examine the effect of a litigation institution, called a settlement escrow, and uncertainty on the timing and quality of settlement outcomes. Our findings indicate that settlement rates are significa...
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In an attempt to reduce the liability insurance costs of firms, several US states have implemented many different kinds of tort reform. Some reforms take the form of caps or limits on punitive damage awards while others, called “split-awardsâ€, have mandated that a proportion of the award be allocated to the plaintiff with the remainder going to...
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We explore how situational factors moderate gender differences in negotiation. We conduct a baseline study with MBA students and 2 experiments with laboratory participants. In Study 1, males (vs. females) report significantly higher performance targets and agreement payoffs within a structurally ambiguous negotiation. Study 2 reveals a significant...
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Over the last two decades, there has been an upsurge in research in social psychology on the relationships among gender, cognition, and social behavior. Over the same period, studies of gender in negotiation have declined, and the field has largely abandoned the gender variable as an inconsistent predictor of negotiator behavior or performance. In...
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This paper reports results from a bargaining experiment testing the effect on settlement rates of a damage cap set much higher than the value of the underlying claim. We presented 462 student subjects with materials outlining a personal injury lawsuit and permitted randomly assigned subject pairs to negotiate a pretrial settlement. We find that imp...
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In negotiations where disputes are resolved via adjudication (as in the courts or arbitration), beliefs about a potential adjudicated outcome are central in determining the bargaining environment. The present research investigates how negotiators (trial attorneys and students) involved in a hypothetical product liability case use information about...
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This paper investigates the information dilemma in negotiations: if negotiators reveal information about their priorities and preferences, more efficient agreements may be reached but the shared information may be used strategically by the other negotiator, to the revealers' disadvantage. We present a theoretical model that focuses on the character...
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Since 1970, at least 30 states have enacted legislation capping the damages plaintiffs can recover in a lawsuit. Guided by previous research on suit and settlement, we outline a simple framework for examining the effects of a cap on litigant judgments and the pretrial settlement rate. We then introduce several refinements to the simple framework th...
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Using data on collectively bargained outcomes in Pennsylvania schools in 1983-89, the authors find a strong relationship between the returns to education and tenure and the distribution of those attributes in the bargaining unit. For instance, the higher the median level of teacher tenure in a district, the greater was the pay gap between teachers...
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Previous experimental research has found that self-Serving biases are a major cause of negotiation impasses. In this study we show that a simple intervention can mitigate such biases and promote efficient settlement of disputes.
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We model the response of public sector employers to unionization using the response of public school boards to teacher unionization as an example. While it is generally believed that public sector employers pay unionized workers more than nonunion workers, there is less consensus about where the money comes from. We model two cases which are possib...
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Previous experimental research conducted by the authors has found that self-serving biases are a major cause of negotiation impasses. This article reports experimental studies that test the ability to counteract the biased integration of information that can impede settlement. In this study, we show that a simple intervention can mitigate such bias...
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Life-cycle models of labor supply predict a positive relationship between hours supplied and transitory changes in wages. We tested this prediction using three samples of wages and hours of New York City cabdrivers, whose wages are correlated within days but uncorrelated between days. Estimated wage elasticities are significantly negative in two ou...
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The authors review studies conducted by themselves and coauthors that document a 'self-serving' bias in judgments of fairness and demonstrate that the bias is an important cause of impasse in negotiations. They discuss experimental evidence showing that (1) the bias causes impasse; (2) it is possible to reduce impasses by debiasing bargainers; and...
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The authors model the politics of wage and employment determination for unionized public-sector workers who can strike. If the employment level affects the identity of the decisive voter in budget referenda and other elections, then unions may be able to increase wages by increasing employment. The authors identify conditions under which public-sec...
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Life-cycle models of labor supply predict a positive relationship between hours supplied and transitory changes in wages because such changes have virtually no effect on life-cycle wealth. Previous attempts to test this hypothesis empirically with time-series data have not been supportive; estimated elasticities are typically negative or nonsignifi...
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The authors explore the role that choice of comparison groups plays in explaining impasse in teacher contract negotiations. They hypothesize that the negotiators select 'comparable' districts in a biased fashion such that teachers' salaries in districts that unions view as comparable are higher than teachers' salaries in districts that school board...
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When court trials (or arbitration) are the mechanisms for resolving bargaining impasses, the costs and risks associated with third-party intervention should motivate settlement (Henry Farber and Harry Katz, 1979). However, empirical evidence suggests that impasses and inefficient settlements are common in the legal system and in contract negotiatio...
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In negotiations where impasse is resolved via a dispute resolution mechanism (like the courts or arbitration), beliefs about a potential adjudicated outcome are central in determining the bargaining environment. The present research investigates how negotiators (trial attorneys and students) involved in a hypothetical product liability case use the...
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Research on bargaining suggests that the efficiency of bargaining is related to the size of the surplus to be divided and to uncertainty about the opponent. We conducted a bargaining experiment which manipulated both of these factors. We find that the presence of uncertainty decreases bargaining efficiency, while the effect of contract zone size de...
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A persistently troubling question in the legal-economic literature is why cases proceed to trial. Litigation is a negative-sum proposition for the litigants-the longer the process continues, the lower their aggregate wealth. Although civil litigation is resolved by settlement in an estimated 95 percent of all disputes, what accounts for the failure...
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Traducción de: Ask for It. How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want Programa para adquirir habilidades y aplicar estrategias de negociación dirigido a mujeres, escrito por sus autoras como un complemento primordialmente práctico de su libro precedente Las mujeres no se atreven a pedir: saber pedir ya no es sólo cosa d...

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