The myth of the rational voter: why democracies choose bad policies / Bryan Caplan. p. cm. Classical Public Choice and the Failure of Rational Ignorance. Review of Bryan Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Francesco Caselli1. December 1London School of. The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. By Bryan Caplan. May 29, In theory, democracy is a bulwark against socially.

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Most voters vote for what they believe rationl in the best interest of the nation. And the way politicians utilize these incentives and biases to win the race.

Can it faplan for the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats? For example, it’s all too obvious to identify which candidate is which in this sentence: Chock full of relevant and obscure and illuminating insights that will knock your socks off!

Most economists are moderate democrats btw that favor market oriented policies. There’s too much here for me to give it less than 3 stars, but Caplan seems to willfully ignore two related retorts to this thesis. Dec 07, James rated it it was ok.

A protectionist will still outsource because he has to achieve as many advantages over his competitors as he can to stay in business. Jul 07, Skylar Burris rated vaplan liked it Shelves: However, if you assume the uneducated voters are voting essentially at random, this means that educated voters have MORE of an impact, especially if they mobilize. A racist will still hire a qualified black person because going to the second-best option will be expensive to the company. Thus, his choice is “rationally irrational.

The basic assertion put forth by Caplan is that voters are not just ignorant but irrational. The person who the Dumbies voted in over Smarties does not necessary have to be themselves a Dumbie.


The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan

This book does a fine job of laying down the empirical argument to corroborate that claim. Self-serving bias economists are rich and so they believe whatever benefits them and ideological assumptions economists are a bunch of right-wing ideologues are two challenges the author addresses.

Democracy and markets can’t be examined through the same lens. A really fun and captivating read.

And why breaking promises is often a good strategy not only for them but also for us. It will haunt me before I sleep, and it will haunt me when I wake.

But the author argues they are rational only because it is costly to be wrong. However, many feel the U.

The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

Caplan urges economists to be less unambiguous. Jan 07, Mike the Paladin rated it liked it Shelves: Sep 07, Stone rated it liked it Shelves: After all, what’s the incentive? Admittedly, Bryan Caplan’s point could be made much more succinctly.

Chapter 3 puts a lot of stock in differences between economists and members of the general publi If you started reading this book but have decided to quit, I heartily encourage you to skip ahead and at least read chapter 5, wherein Caplan’s thesis of rational irrationality is given full treatment. Filled with magical thinking about free markets that have caused most of society’s problems in the first place, and then decrying the average voter as stupid and incapable of self governance because they reject it.

This policy may be very bad for society, but your vote didn’t really matter anyway: First, a few premises. Caplan describes potential fixes, fascinating ones involving markets and education, but that’s It’s not just ignorance.


Jun 28, Nathaniel rated it really liked it.

Put like this, it all sounds very simple, straightforward, and dull. In order to improve the current rqtional system, Caplan suggests that programs to encourage people to vote should cease, or more votes should be given to people with higher levels of economic literacy.

People are irrational voters because they vote on their preconceived biases about the economy, foreign policy, etc. The first retort is tge when he characterizes adherence to political points of view as similar in kind to adherence to religion, he confounds religion as 1 an explanation for empirical phenomena and religion as 2 a source of morality.

The Myth of the Rational Voter – Wikipedia

Lists with This Book. Caplan explains how people can be irrational voters and yet be rational consumers. First, I’m not summarizing the interesting! He quite clearly understands the impossibility of either.

This is one of the best popular press economics books I’ve ever read. The author offers an erudite, economist viewpoint that the perception that voting is just like the free market is wrong because I read this book because ever since Prop 8 passed in California, I have completely lost faith in direct democracy, and started feeling like voting was just opting into a corrupt system of the majority suppressing whatever minority they didn’t like.

Caplan is a professor of economics at George Mason University and touts a Ph. Also, he answers the question of the rational consumer.