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Priming the jury by asking for Donations: An empirical and experimental study

Author

Listed:
  • Aimone, Jason A.
  • North, Charles
  • Rentschler, Lucas

Abstract

In 1995, Texas passed a law requiring that jurors be provided an opportunity to donate jury pay to a crime victims fund. In practice, courts present this opportunity before jury selection begins, priming the jurors about the needs of crime victims, which could bias jury decision-making. We report correlational evidence that conviction rates increased after this policy was imposed. To explore a causal link, we ran a laboratory experiment, finding that male jurors are more likely to convict a defendant after being given the opportunity to donate, while female jurors are less likely to convict.

Suggested Citation

  • Aimone, Jason A. & North, Charles & Rentschler, Lucas, 2019. "Priming the jury by asking for Donations: An empirical and experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 158-167.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:160:y:2019:i:c:p:158-167
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.01.022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    2. Camerer, Colin & Talley, Eric, 2007. "Experimental Study of Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
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    4. Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2012. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 1017-1055.
    5. Adam Smith & David Skarbek & Bart Wilson, 2012. "Anarchy, groups, and conflict: an experiment on the emergence of protective associations," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(2), pages 325-353, February.
    6. Bryan C. McCannon & Paul Walker, 2016. "Endogenous competence and a limit to the Condorcet Jury Theorem," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(1), pages 1-18, October.
    7. Nicholas Bardsley, 2008. "Dictator game giving: altruism or artefact?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 11(2), pages 122-133, June.
    8. Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smith, Vernon L. & Wilson, Bart J., 2010. "Exchange, theft, and the social formation of property," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 206-229, June.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Law; Policy; Jury; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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