The idea of the winner’s curse can be expressed slightly differently from its usage in the chapter:.

The idea of the winner’s curse can be expressed slightly
differently from its usage in the chapter: “The only time your bid matters is
when you win, which happens when your estimate is higher than the estimates of
all the other bidders. Therefore you should focus on this case. That is, you
should always act as if all the others have received estimates lower than
yours, and use this ‘information’ to revise your own estimate.” Here we ask you
to apply this idea to a very different situation. A jury consists of 12 people
who hear and see evidence presented at a trial and collectively reach a verdict
of guilt or innocence. Simplifying the process somewhat, assume that the jurors
hold a single simultaneous vote to determine the verdict. Each juror is asked
to vote Guilty or Not guilty. The accused is convicted if all 12 vote Guilty
and is acquitted if one or more vote Not guilty; this is known as the unanimity
rule. Each juror’s objective is to arrive at a verdict that is the most
accurate verdict in light of the evidence, but each juror interprets the
evidence in accord with her own thinking and experience. Thus, she arrives at
an estimate of the guilt or the innocence of the accused that is individual and
private.

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(a) If jurors vote truthfully—that is, in accordance with
their individual private estimates of the guilt of the accused—will the verdict
be Not guilty more often under a unanimity rule or under a majority rule, where
the accused is convicted if seven jurors vote Guilty? Explain. What might we
call the “juror’s curse” in this situation?

(b) Now consider the case in which each juror votes
strategically, taking into account the potential problems of the juror’s curse
and using all the devices of information inference that we have studied. Are
individual jurors more likely to vote Guilty under a unanimity rule when voting
truthfully or strategically? Explain.

(c) Do you think strategic voting to account for the
juror’s curse would produce too many Guilty verdicts? Why or why not?

 

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