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Supreme Court Economic Review


Are juries rational or irrational? In the context of punitive damage awards, jury decisions suffer from serious problems. Jurors are intuitive retributivists, in a way that produces departures from economic theories of punishment. Their decisions are rooted in outrage, which they cannot easily translate into dollar terms. The result is a degree of unpredictability and incoherence. An understanding of this point casts light on several problems with existing institutions and offers some clues about how those problems might be solved.

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