The Condorcet Jury Theorem and the Expressive Function of Law: A Theory of Informative Law
Posted: 19 Aug 2002
We argue that legislation can generate compliance expressively, independently of deterrence. The Condorcet Jury Theorem implies that, in certain circumstances, the legislative process
aggregates the private information of legislators to reach a
decision superior to that of any individual legislator.
Citizens may update their beliefs about issues the legislation
addresses even though individual legislators are no better
informed than individual citizens, and change their behavior in
the direction of greater compliance. We first use a model with
sincere voting, and then consider strategic voting,
position-taking preferences, lobbying, and legislative
institutions. We use a public smoking ban for illustration,
and propose an experimental test.
Keywords: Condorcet Jury Theorem, Expressive effect of law, Legislation, Voting, Position-taking preferences, Lobbying, Legislative institutions
JEL Classification: K00, D72, K29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation