A Note on: Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem
This note reassesses the basic result in Mukhopadhaya (2003) that, when jurors may acquire costly signals about a defendant’s guilt, with a larger jury size the probability of reaching a correct verdict may in fact fall, contrary to the Condorcet Jury Theorem. We show that if the jurors coordinate on any one of a number of (equally plausible) asymmetric equilibria other than the symmetric equilibrium considered by Mukhopadhaya, the probability of accuracy reaches a maximum for a particular jury size and remains unchanged with larger juries, thus mitigating Mukhopadhaya’s result somewhat. However, the case for limiting the jury size a recommendation by Mukhoapdhaya gains additional grounds if one shifts the focus from maximizing the probability of reaching a correct verdict to the maximization of the overall social surplus, measured by the expected benefits of jury decisions less the expected costs of acquiring signals.
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- Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
- Kaushik Mukhopadhaya, 2003. "Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 24-44, April.
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