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A Note on: Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem

Author

Listed:
  • Parimal Kanti Bag

    (University of Surrey)

  • Paul Levine

    (University of Surrey)

  • Chris Spencer

    (University of Surrey)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Parimal Kanti Bag & Paul Levine & Chris Spencer, 2005. "A Note on: Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem," School of Economics Discussion Papers 1705, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  • Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1705
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    File URL: https://repec.som.surrey.ac.uk/2005/DP17-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:34-45_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    jury size; free rider problem; Condorcet Jury Theorem;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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