Economics Faculty Publications


Shared Assumptions of the Jury System and the Market System

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The adversary system and the market are American institutions with deep-rooted histories. As the first section of this Article will detail, these ancient origins are in part responsible for the unquestioned authority of these systems. In other words, the assumptions of these systems are entrenched in tradition. They are cemented into our thinking such that we rarely question them. The first section will describe the long history of each; the second section will identify a common set of fundamental assumptions on which both the jury system and market processes lean heavily. After identifying the core assumptions of both, the Paper concludes with an assessment of a particularly tenuous assumption of both systems: the belief in a rational decision maker who can be depended on to fulfill the promise of juries and market exchange. The attractiveness of these assumptions is deeply embedded in the American embrace of individualism. Hence, any weaknesses in these two primary decision-making institutions can be foreshadowed by recalling the major indictments against individualism.

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Saint Louis University Law Journal


Saint Louis University

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