Arbitration Costs and Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence

In this Article, written for this symposium issue on “Empirical Studies of Mandatory Arbitration,” I examine the available empirical evidence on these two questions. I take “mandatory arbitration” to refer to pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer and employment (and maybe franchise) contracts. Accordingly, I limit my consideration of the empirical evidence to those types of contracts. I do not discuss empirical studies of international arbitrations, which almost always arise out of agreements between commercial entities. Nor do I discuss empirical studies of court-annexed arbitrations, which may not derive from party agreement and do not ordinarily proceed to a binding award.