Public Choice

, Volume 150, Issue 3–4, pp 595–608 | Cite as

Deliberation in large juries with diverse preferences

  • Patrick Hummel


This paper considers a game in which imperfectly informed jurors who differ in their thresholds of reasonable doubt must decide whether to convict or acquit a defendant. Jurors deliberate prior to voting on the fate of the defendant, and the defendant is convicted only if all jurors vote to convict. Although it has been established that full information revelation is impossible when jurors have sufficiently heterogeneous preferences, this paper demonstrates that if each juror shares preferences with a small fraction of the other jurors, it is possible to obtain enough information revelation so that the correct decision is made with probability arbitrarily close to one in large juries.


Juries Deliberation Strategic voting Information aggregation 

JEL Classification



Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Austen-Smith, D. (1990). Information transmission in debate. American Journal of Political Science, 34, 124–152. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Austen-Smith, D., & Banks, J. S. (1996). Information aggregation, rationality, and the Condorcet jury theorem. American Political Science Review, 90, 34–45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austen-Smith, D., & Feddersen, T. (2005). Deliberation and voting rules. In D. Austen-Smith & J. Duggan (Eds.), Social choice and strategic decisions: essays in honor of Jeffrey S. Banks. Berlin: Springer. Google Scholar
  4. Austen-Smith, D., & Feddersen, T. (2006). Deliberation, preference uncertainty, and voting rules. American Political Science Review, 100, 209–218. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Berend, D., & Paroush, J. (1998). When is Condorcet’s jury theorem valid? Social Choice and Welfare, 15, 481–488. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berg, S. (1993). Condorcet’s jury theorem, dependency among jurors. Social Choice and Welfare, 10, 87–95. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Condorcet, M. (1785). Essai sur l’application de l’analyse à la probabilité des décisions rendues à la pluralité des voix. Paris: De l’Imprimerie Royale. Google Scholar
  8. Coughlan, P. J. (2000). In defense of unanimous jury verdicts: mistrials, communication, and strategic voting. American Political Science Review, 94, 375–393. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Duggan, J., & Martinelli, C. (2001). A Bayesian model of voting in juries. Games and Economic Behavior, 37, 259–294. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Feddersen, T., & Pesendorfer, W. (1998). Convicting the innocent: the inferiority of unanimous jury verdicts under strategic voting. American Political Science Review, 92, 23–35. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fey, M. (2003). A note on the Condorcet jury theorem with supermajority voting rules. Social Choice and Welfare, 20, 27–32. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gerardi, D. (2000). Jury verdicts and preference diversity. American Political Science Review, 94, 395–406. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gerardi, D., & Yariv, L. (2007). Deliberative voting. Journal of Economic Theory, 134, 317–338. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoeffding, W. (1963). Probability inequalities for sums of bounded random variables. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 58, 13–30. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hummel, P. (2010). Jury theorems with multiple alternatives. Social Choice and Welfare, 34, 65–103. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ladha, K. K. (1992). The Condorcet jury theorem, free speech, and correlated votes. American Journal of Political Science, 36, 617–634. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ladha, K. K. (1995). Information pooling through majority-rule voting: Condorcet’s jury theorem with correlated votes. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 26, 353–372. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Le Quement, M. (2009). Subgroup deliberation and voting. European University Institute Typescript. Google Scholar
  19. Martinelli, C. (2002). Convergence results for unanimous voting. Journal of Economic Theory, 105, 278–297. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McLennan, A. (1998). Consequences of the Condorcet jury theorem for beneficial information aggregation by rational agents. American Political Science Review, 92, 413–418. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meirowitz, A. (2002). Informative voting and Condorcet jury theorems with a continuum of types. Social Choice and Welfare, 19, 219–236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Meirowitz, A. (2006). Designing institutions to aggregate preferences and information. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 1, 373–392. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Meirowitz, A. (2007). In defense of exclusionary deliberation: communication and voting with private beliefs and values. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 19, 301–327. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Myerson, R. B. (1998). Extended Poisson games and the Condorcet jury theorem. Games and Economic Behavior, 25, 111–131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Osborne, M. J., & Rubinstein, A. (1994). A course in game theory. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  26. Roháč, D. (2008). The unanimity rule and religious fractionalisation in the Polish-Lithuanian Republic. Constitutional Political Economy, 19, 111–128. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shapiro, A. L. (1999). The control revolution. New York: PublicAffairs. Google Scholar
  28. Sunstein, C. R. (2002). The law of group polarization. Journal of Political Philosophy, 10, 175–195. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wit, J. (1998). Rational choice and the Condorcet jury theorem. Games and Economic Behavior, 22, 364–376. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Van Weelden, R. (2008). Deliberation rules and voting. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 3, 83–88. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yahoo! ResearchBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations