DP328 | The Pit and the Pendulum: Arbitration in the British Coal Industry, 1893-1914


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In this paper, we construct a game form based on the constitutions of conciliation boards in the British coal industry and show how the induced game can be used to explain certain features of the wage negotiations for which the conciliation boards were responsible. In particular, we test various alternative explanations of the observed frequency of appeal to the arbitrator. The results are generally favorable to the view that the negotiators behaved rationally, within the constraints imposed by the boards' constitutions.