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The contribution to dispersion of a few components of a mode-locked dye laser cavity has been evaluated. The chirp produced by the self-phase modulation within the saturable absorber has also been evaluated and compared with that resulting from the dispersive components. Cavity mirrors and blocks of transparent materials (glass or quartz) of a length exceeding 1 mm give the largest dispersion. The effect of self-phase modulation, at least for high saturation of the absorber, seems to play a comparable role. The dispersive contributions should influence the mode-locking behavior for pulses of about 100 fs or shorter.