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An Experimental Study of Jury Decision Rules

Guarnaschelli, Serena and McKelvey, Richard D. and Palfrey, Thomas R. (2000) An Experimental Study of Jury Decision Rules. American Political Science Review, 94 (02). pp. 407-423. ISSN 0003-0554. doi:10.2307/2586020.

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We present experimental results on groups facing a decision problem analogous to that faced by a jury. We consider three treatment variables: group size (three or six), number of votes needed for conviction (majority or unanimity), and pre-vote deliberation. We find evidence of strategic voting under the unanimity rule: A large fraction of our subjects vote for a decision analogous to conviction even when their private information indicates a state analogous to innocence. This is roughly consistent with the game theoretic predictions of Feddersen and Pesendorfer. Although individual behavior is explained well by the game theoretic model, there are discrepancies at the level of the group decision. Contrary to Feddersen and Pesendorfer, in our experiments there are fewer outcomes analogous to incorrect convictions under unanimity rule than under majority rule. In the case of no deliberation, we simultaneously account for the individual and group data using quantal response equilibrium.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:© 2000 American Political Science Association. Support from the National Science Foundation (Grant #SBR- 9617854) is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Tara Butterfield for research assistance, John Patty for help in running the experiments, and Tim Reed and Charles Smith for writing the computer program for the experiments. We also thank Tim Feddersen, Susanne Loh- mann, Krishna Ladha, the audiences at several academic conferences and seminars, three referees, and the Editor for their comments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFSBR- 9617854
Issue or Number:02
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170825-071338534
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Official Citation:Guarnaschelli, S., McKelvey, R., & Palfrey, T. (2000). An Experimental Study of Jury Decision Rules. American Political Science Review, 94(2), 407-423. doi:10.2307/2586020
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80784
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Aug 2017 15:20
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:38

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