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Field evidence suggests that arbitration increases negotiation dispute rates. We study repeated bargaining in a laboratory to understand the reasons why. Our results represent a reinterpretation of an explanation known as the narcotic effect. The standard interpretation assumes that the probability of dispute without arbitration is constant across negotiations, but field evidence suggests that experienced bargainers have fewer disputes. To properly assess arbitration's impact, we comparedoi:10.1006/game.1997.0633 fatcat:f67m6uxo5vflxgf2hwblti5ekm