Loss Aversion Bias or Fear of Missing Out: A Behavioural Economics Analysis of Compensation in Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Collins, D. A. (2016). Loss Aversion Bias or Fear of Missing Out: A Behavioural Economics Analysis of Compensation in Investor-State Dispute Settlement. Journal of International Dispute Settlement, doi: 10.1093/jnlids/idw024

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Abstract

This article considers the application of the behavioural economics theory of loss aversion bias as an explanation for observed approaches to monetary compensation in Investor–State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Beginning with a critique of the assessment that damages for breach of contract in the common law (both the reliance and expectation measures) embody the ethos of loss aversion bias, this article suggests that the dominant approach to compensation in ISDS is primarily forward-looking and profit-focused. Instances of loss-based compensation may be explained by rational means rather than through the heuristic of loss aversion bias. Compensation tied to loss may more accurately reflect full market value and often denote a lower quantum justified on the basis of lawfulness (as in expropriation). Most notably compensation based on actual losses serves the objective of certainty. The article concludes by suggesting that the dominant tendency of ISDS tribunals to award profit-oriented compensation may itself have a basis in a heuristic bias, namely the human tendency to seek to avoid missing out on future opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of International Dispute Settlement following peer review. The version of record Collins, DA (2016). Loss Aversion Bias or Fear of Missing Out: A Behavioural Economics Analysis of Compensation in Investor-State Dispute Settlement. Journal of International Dispute Settlement, is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnlids/idw024
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: The City Law School > The City Law School - Academic Programmes
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15718

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