Serving on a jury is both a right and a legal obligation for democratic citizens; however, the response rate to jury summonses is low in most jurisdictions. In collaboration with the Riverside (CA) County Superior Court, we conducted a randomized control trial in which we mailed various postcard reminders to citizens who had recently received a summons. While we find that all postcard reminders were effective in improving yield compared to a no postcard condition, we find that “enforcement” postcards reminding citizens that they face fines or jail time for not appearing were more effective than plain reminders or reminders that serving on a jury is a civic duty. Enforcement postcard reminders had a substantially larger causal effect than what is typically found in get out the vote randomized studies. We find little evidence that norms regarding jury service response varies across distinct regions in our sample, defined by zipcode boundaries, nor are response rates conditioned on the demographic composition of these regions.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 26, 2013
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