Information aggregation, rationality, and the Condorcet Jury Theorem

David Austen-Smith, Jeffrey S. Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

444 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Condorcet Jury Theorem states that majorities are more likely than any single individual to select the "better" of two alternatives when there exists uncertainty about which of the two alternatives is in fact preferred. Most extant proofs of this theorem implicitly make the behavioral assumption that individuals vote "sincerely" in the collective decision making, a seemingly innocuous assumption, given that individuals are taken to possess a common preference for selecting the better alternative. However, in the model analyzed here we find that sincere behavior by all individuals is not rational even when individuals have such a common preference. In particular, sincere voting does not constitute a Nash equilibrium. A satisfactory rational choice foundation for the claim that majorities invariably "do better" than individuals, therefore, has yet to be derived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Volume90
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Information aggregation, rationality, and the Condorcet Jury Theorem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this