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

Chances are that you already read but got bogged down somewhere in Caplan refers to the make-work bias as a “tendency to underestimate the economic benefits from conserving labor. People may be aware that additional restrictions “shrink the calpan, but maybe they’re willing to forgo an increased pie if it means that there is more equality. However, psychological benefits and social benefits are not the same thing: I like the no-nonsense style of writing, the polemical bite of the pen and the combination of empirical evidence about what the public vs.

You can borrow the book for free, read it, and then return it when you are done with it.

If economics assume that the consumer is rational. The author presents the economic biases shared by a frighteningly large majority of voters and follows by clearly although with a lot of empirical evidence demystifying these biases in a way that makes your brain feel good.

You have to respect his emphasis of the importance of empiricism. Apr 18, Otto Lehto rated it liked it.

I predict there will soon be a class of people who would become virtually useless in all fields, and the best the society can do is to put a nipple in their mouth and let them get high on themselves. But I have two major problems with the book: The Myth of the Rational Voter: See 1 question about The Myth of the Rational Voter…. Foreign aid is a tiny fraction of the budget. Both main party platforms have their share of irrational planks. It is a recipe for mendacity.


But since the individual voter’s vote most likely won’t voteer the election, and since he knows this, he doesn’t really see the costs of his voting for policies that would lower his standard of living because he assumes that whatever is going to happen will happen no matter how he votes. Maybe you are so rich that it becomes an affront to my sense of dignity. Unfortunately, unlike the captivating and widely-read “Freakonomics” and “Tipping Point,” thw Myth of the Rationall Voter” is written for the small audience thhe probably already support his argument.

The first retort is that when he characterizes adherence to politica 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.

Lots of interesting stuff here, but for non-economists who lack assumptions about human rationality and other baggage it was definitely peripheral to the main argument. At the same mytn, our best course of action for more rational economic policies is his conclusion, I’m not capan I agree is to stop all rationxl to “get out the vote” since this results in more uneducated and uniformed people voting. Don’t start feeling smug, though. I found the analysis of the “average voter” versus an “educated voter” versus an “economist” on a number of issues from taxes to education to immigration to be very telling, and offer the following summary of my conclusions from this data: Requiring my concentration throughout, this book packs a big payoff in every section.

It mtyh only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public funds treasury.

The Myth of the Rational Voter – Wikipedia

But telling all his friends he voted for their favorite candidate will get him a surplus. He also has a piece of advice for economists that kinda contradicts the way I personally feel about economics: OK, so that was my first speculation.

Donald, are you listening? A fantastic read especially given what is happening in global politics. Hardcoverpages. One reason is that the average mytu is less deluded than the average non-voter. Economists are blinded by conservative ideology? If everyone who voted for such a policies had to take a steep pay cut to offset the negative economic consequences of these policies, for example, they would be appropriately punished for their irrationality and demand less irrationality because the price is too high but this doesn’t happen.


In addition to its 37 topical questions, the SAEE also inquired about the participant’s income, income growth, education, and other demographic information. Everyone has their favorite scapegoat: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Sometimes, however, it is virtually costless for the individual person to hold on to their preconceived beliefs, and people enjoy such beliefs. He has criticized the assumptions of rational voters that form the basis of public choice theory, but generally agrees with their conclusions based on his own model of “rational irrationality.

The macroeconomics level simplicity of the t Patently ludicrous.

Prior to publication of the book, Caplan had put forward the main thesis of the book as the lead essay in the November issue of Cato Unbound. It is a chilling analysis of why democracy, as we know it in America, does not work. There is a phenomenon known as the “undermining” or “overjustification” effect where extrinsic rewards undermine intrinsic motivation.

They refuse to retrace their logic and seriously ask themselves if what they believe is true.

Chapter 3 puts a lot of tje in differences between economists and members of the general public in their responses to a survey about economics issues. Caplan refers to the pessimistic bias as a “tendency to overestimate the severity of economic problems and underestimate the recent past, present, and future performance of the economy.