Prisoner’s Dilemma Game Show

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Category: Arbitration, Negotiation, Public
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In class last month, we rebooted the idea of the prisoner’s dilemma as previously portrayed on The Bachelor Pad (discussed on the Freakonomics Blog and four years ago on this site). This time, the conversation revolved around a British game show called Golden Balls that was very popular several years ago. I can only assume that you’ve already discounted Golden Balls’ educational value based on its name alone but bear with me . . .

The typical scenario plays out like this: two parties sitting across from one another with one crucial decision that decides how a lump sum of money will be divided. That decision revolves around the four golden balls that sit on the table. Each part can anonymously choose their split ball or their steal ball. If they both steal, they walk away with nothing. If they both split, they split the money. However, if one contestant chooses to split and the other chooses to steal, the thief will walk away with all of the money.

The typical situation ends something like this. But one contestant shows us a unique way to handle the prisoner’s dilemma in this video. Most importantly for class, some good commentary on the second situation can be found here. The class really enjoyed learning the real story behind the winning strategy.  Enjoy the show!

Cross-posted at the ADR Prof Blog.

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The NBA, Television Broadcasting Rights, and Collective Bargaining

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Category: Arbitration, Labor & Employment Law, Public, Sports & Law
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Television broadcasting rights in professional sports are a huge chunk of the revenue equation for professional leagues, and it isn’t very hard to see how that is the case. For example, the current NBA TV deal is worth about $930 million annually. In 2016, this deal is set to expire and current reports indicate that an extension is in the works that will pay the NBA over $2 billon annually for the rights to broadcast games on Turner and ESPN networks. When this deal comes to fruition, the revenue generated by the TV deal will dwarf the money coming in from any other source.

While the value of the NBA’s television broadcasting rights are staggering, the most interesting aspect of the new deal is how it will affect the collective bargaining process. In 2011, the NBA suffered through a lockout where owners claimed to be losing hundred of millions of dollars each year. For this reason, the owners argued, the player’s cut of the revenue needed to be scaled back. By the time the lockout ended, the owners had modest success in achieving this particular goal, pinning the player’s share of basketball related income back to between 49% and 51%. The previous basketball related income split was approximately 57–43% in favor of the players.

With the television revenue doubling by 2016, the owners will not have a leg to stand on if they again try to argue that teams are losing money. Considering the amount of money set to be on the table, the players are likely to fight for a bigger chunk. And if the owners aren’t reasonable about it, the league could be looking at another lockout.

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Marquette Law Professor and CAS Arbitrator Matt Mitten Helps Resolve First Legal Dispute at the Sochi Winter Olympics

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Category: Arbitration, Marquette Law School, Public, Sports & Law
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Professor Matt Mitten was one of three members of a Court of Arbitration for Sport panel that was called upon to resolve the first legal dispute to arise at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Along with fellow arbitrators Patrick Lafranchi of Switzerland and Robert Decary of Canada, Professor Mitten denied the claim of Austrian skier Daniela Bauer that she had been improperly excluded from the Austrian Olympic team.

The decision was handed down in Sochi. Bauer filed her claim on February 2, and the matter was heard by the Ad Hoc panel on the evening of February 3, with a final decision handed down at 1 p.m. (local time) on February 4.

A full account of the proceedings can be found here.

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Binders Full of Women . . . Arbitrators?

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Category: Arbitration, Feminism, International Law & Diplomacy, Public
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The title of this post, as readers based in the United States surely know, refers to a statement from candidate Mitt Romney in a presidential debate. In response to a question from the audience, Romney gave the following account of his quest to identify women candidates for cabinet positions after he was elected governor of Massachusetts:

“[A]ll the applicants seemed to be men. And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men.’ They said, ‘Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ And I said, ‘Well, gosh, can’t we – can’t we find some – some women that are also qualified?’ And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”

Amidst the hilarity that has since ensued (I recommend an Internet search for “binders full of women,” as well as a glance at this IntLawGrrls post), let’s pause to consider some data from the glamorous world of international arbitration. Read more »

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