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An experimental study of jury deliberation


  • Jacob K. Goeree
  • Leeat Yariv


We study the effects of deliberation on collective decisions. In a series of experiments, we vary groups' preference distributions (between common and conflicting interests) and the institutions by which decisions are reached (simple majority, two-thirds majority, and unanimity). When deliberation is prohibited, different institutions generate significantly different outcomes, tracking the theoretical comparative statics. Deliberation, however, significantly diminishes institutional differences and uniformly improves efficiency. Furthermore, communication protocols exhibit an array of stable attributes: messages are public, consistently reveal private information, provide a good predictor for ultimate group choices, and follow particular (endogenous) sequencing.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob K. Goeree & Leeat Yariv, 2009. "An experimental study of jury deliberation," IEW - Working Papers 438, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:438

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Morgan & Felix Várdy, 2012. "Mixed Motives and the Optimal Size of Voting Bodies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(5), pages 986-1026.

    More about this item


    Jury decision making; deliberative voting; strategic voting;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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