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Epistemic Democracy With Defensible Premises

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  • Dietrich, Franz
  • Spiekermann, Kai

Abstract

The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the `wisdom of crowds'. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises -- voter independence -- is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that `large crowds are infallible'. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, `large crowds are fallible but better than small groups'. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation and education, which appear inessential in the classical jury framework. Our theorem is related to Ladha's (1993) seminal jury theorem for interchangeable (`indistinguishable') voters based on de Finetti's Theorem. We prove a more general and simpler version of such a theorem.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

Volume (Year): 29 (2013)
Issue (Month): 01 (March)
Pages: 87-120

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:29:y:2013:i:01:p:87-120_00

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  1. Serguei Kaniovski, 2010. "Aggregation of correlated votes and Condorcet’s Jury Theorem," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 453-468, September.
  2. Christian List, 2005. "The probability of inconsistencies in complex collective decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 3-32, 05.
  3. Christian List & Franz Dietrich, 2002. "A Model of Jury Decisions Where All Jurors Have The Same Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Jacob Paroush, 2000. "A nonasymptotic Condorcet jury theorem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 189-199.
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Cited by:
  1. Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2012. "Independent opinions? on the causal foundations of belief formation and jury theorems," MPRA Paper 40137, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2010.

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