Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094029
 
 

References (52)



 
 

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Nothing But the Truth? Experiments on Adversarial Competition, Expert Testimony, and Decision Making


Cheryl Boudreau


University of California, Davis

Mathew D. McCubbins


Duke University

2008

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 751-789

Abstract:     
Many scholars debate whether a competition between experts in legal, political, or economic contexts elicits truthful information and, in turn, enables people to make informed decisions. Thus, we analyze experimentally the conditions under which competition between experts induces the experts to make truthful statements and enables jurors listening to these statements to improve their decisions. Our results demonstrate that, contrary to game theoretic predictions and contrary to critics of our adversarial legal system, competition induces enough truth-telling to allow jurors to improve their decisions. Then, when we impose additional institutions (such as penalties for lying or the threat of verification) upon the competing experts, we observe even larger improvements in the experts’ propensity to tell the truth and in jurors’ decisions. We find similar improvements when the competing experts are permitted to exchange reasons for why their statements may be correct.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

Keywords: competition, expert testimony, juror, adversarial legal system, decision making, institution, trust

JEL Classification: C90, C91, D81, D83, K00, K10, K40, K41

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Date posted: February 17, 2008 ; Last revised: July 22, 2009

Suggested Citation

Boudreau, Cheryl and McCubbins, Mathew D., Nothing But the Truth? Experiments on Adversarial Competition, Expert Testimony, and Decision Making (2008). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 751-789. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1094029

Contact Information

Cheryl Boudreau (Contact Author)
University of California, Davis ( email )
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States
Mathew D. McCubbins
Duke University ( email )
Department of Political Science
208 Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States
(213) 973-7538 (Phone)
(213) 973-3623 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://mccubbins.us
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