Monday, November 3, 2008

A Beautiful Mind in Splendid Isolation

Sometimes I forget how much pure enjoyment one can get from the economics literature. Consider this:

"The Optimal Jury Size When Jury Deliberation Follows a Random Walk"

Public Choice, Vol. 134, No. 3-4, 2008
Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 2008-3

ERIC HELLAND, Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, RAND
Email: ehelland@cmc.edu
YARON RAVIV, Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance
Email: yraviv@cmc.edu

The existing literature does not agree on the optimal jury size. We demonstrate that the probability of type I and type II errors is not sensitive to the number of jurors under the following three conditions: jurors received independent signals about a defendant's guilt during the evidence stage of the trial; the jurors truthfully reveal their signal before deliberations in the first ballot via their vote; and the jury deliberation can be modeled as a random walk. Since the opportunity cost of jury service is positive, this implies the optimal number of jurors is one.


And why do we need coauthors?

5 comments:

reason said...

Huh?

Is this guy serious? (Of course as always with this neo-classical non-sense the real crux lies in the choice of axioms and the use of the word OPTIMAL).

BruceMcF said...

Aha! "An analysis of the optimal number of authors of a research paper under the maximizing formalism in economics."

By:

Abstract: 0.

Body:

reason said...

Why doesn't someone suggest that the author play this mind game
1. You are a clearly innocent white suspect
2. You are being tried in an all-black neighbourhood
3. 25% of the population hate "honkys"

Now, do you still believe the conclusions of the paper?

media said...

under alternative choice of parameters for the same model, i come up with the optimum number being 0.

J Thomas said...

Media, you agree with BruceMcF. Some papers are optimally left unwritten.