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A Note on: Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem

  • Parimal Kanti Bag

    (University of Surrey)

  • Paul Levine

    (University of Surrey)

  • Chris Spencer

    (University of Surrey)

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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File URL: http://www.fahs.surrey.ac.uk/economics/discussion_papers/2005/DP17-05.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 1705.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1705
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  1. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191, 01.
  2. Nicola Persico, 2004. "Committee Design with Endogenous Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(1), pages 165-191.
  3. 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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