Jury Size and the Free Rider Problem
Author: Mukhopadhaya, Kaushik
Source: Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Volume 19, Number 1, 1 April 2003 , pp. 24-44(21)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:In recent times, judges in the United States have said that 6‐person juries are inferior to 12‐person juries. But by what reasoning is a smaller jury inferior? One argument is the Condorcet jury theorem, which says that a larger jury will reach a more accurate decision. This, however, assumes that the information of each juror is independent of the size of the jury. I show that a juror's information does depend on the size of the jury. In a larger jury panel each juror has less incentive to pay attention in the court, even though they are all pledged to hear and deliver a verdict on a trial. Because of the free‐rider problem, a larger jury may actually make poorer decisions. The results apply to many environments in which decisions are made by committees and work teams.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2003-04-01
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