The Condorcet Jury Theorem and the Expressive Function of Law: A Theory of Informative Law

Posted: 19 Aug 2002

See all articles by Dhammika Dharmapala

Dhammika Dharmapala

University of Chicago Law School

Richard H. McAdams

University of Chicago Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

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

Dharmapala, Dhammika and McAdams, Richard H., The Condorcet Jury Theorem and the Expressive Function of Law: A Theory of Informative Law. American Law and Economics Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=318307

Dhammika Dharmapala

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Richard H. McAdams (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-2520 (Phone)

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