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Epistemic democracy with defensible premises

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietrich, Franz & Spiekermann, Kai, 2010. "Epistemic democracy with defensible premises," MPRA Paper 40135, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40135
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/40135/1/MPRA_paper_40135.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:83:y:1989:i:04:p:1317-1340_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Spiekermann, Kai & Goodin, Robert E., 2012. "Courts of Many Minds," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 555-571, July.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:01:p:23-35_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2002. "A Model of Jury Decisions Where All Jurors Have the Same Evidence," Economics Papers 2002-W23, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    5. Lloyd Shapley & Bernard Grofman, 1984. "Optimizing group judgmental accuracy in the presence of interdependencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 329-343, January.
    6. Christian List, 2005. "The probability of inconsistencies in complex collective decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 3-32, May.
    7. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:375-393_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Serguei Kaniovski, 2010. "Aggregation of correlated votes and Condorcet’s Jury Theorem," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 453-468, September.
    10. Ruth Ben-Yashar & Jacob Paroush, 2000. "A nonasymptotic Condorcet jury theorem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(2), pages 189-199.
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    Citations

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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.
    2. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:108-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. George Masterton & Erik J. Olsson & Staffan Angere, 2016. "Linking as voting: how the Condorcet jury theorem in political science is relevant to webometrics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 106(3), pages 945-966, March.
    4. Han, Lu & Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias, 2015. "Aid Fragmentation or Aid Pluralism? The Effect of Multiple Donors on Child Survival in Developing Countries, 1990–2010," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 344-358.
    5. repec:eee:mateco:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:51-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pivato, Marcus, 2017. "Epistemic democracy with correlated voters," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 51-69.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Condorcet Jury Theorem; dependence between voters; common causes; interchangeable voters; de Finetti's Theorem;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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