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 book received a mixed-to-positive review from Loren Lomasky in Public Choiceco-inventor of the theory of “expressive voting” that was a close competitor to Caplan’s theory of thhe irrationality. It will haunt me before I sleep, and it will haunt me when I wake. Because mostly he rambles and rambles.

Call it a religion if you want, but even if an economist convinced such a communitarian of the raw facts, the communitarian may still choose increased democracy and decreased markets. Maybe I have a communitarian belief that a good polity resembles a “family”, and that gross inequality upsets that belief. To ask other readers questions about The Myth of the Rational Voterplease sign up. If Caplan really wants to eliminate these biases, he is far better-off dumbing down his writing style note to author: Chapter 4 spills a lot of ink combating competing theories that presuppose that voters are rational perhaps it is ignorance, rather than irrationality.

The author offers an erudite, economist viewpoint that the perception that voting is just like the free market is wrong because the incentives and risks are nothing like market forces. The first retort is that 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. I would highly recommend it to those who wonder why stupid people like Trump can get elected as the Republican nominee.


The politician must succumb to the masses and what they want – they demand and the politicians supply. Quotes from The Myth of the R It does a fantastic job of describing the cogniti This is one of the best popular press economics books I’ve ever read.

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

Once elected, MPs can really do whatever they want in congress or parliament. Through an analysis of Americans’ voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the convincing case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases: The reason is simple: Jul 15, Jonathan Kadmon rated it did not like it.

A racist will still hire a qualified black person because going to the second-best option will be expensive to the company. Caplan, mytn Princeton economist, cleaves the difference between the rational way we conduct business in our economic lives and the irrational way we hold political positions on economic issu Requiring my concentration throughout, this book packs a big payoff in every section.

Otherwise, and it seems plausible, the public continues to strongly overestimate the amount of disagreement between, say, Paul Krugman and John Cochrane. Thus, his choice is “rationally irrational.

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

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. In Myth of the Rational Voter, Caplan unpacks the theory and then contributes to the literature. The individual cost of voting is very low, and the individual impact of bad policy is even lower. Then what’s the matter with anything beneficial being unpopular?


The Myth of the Rational Voter – Wikipedia

This book should be required reading for every class on behavioral economics. And then the final chapter discusses: One reason, again, is ignorance. I cannot say for sure what kind of political system we will be having in the future, but I can almost guarantee for sure that it won’t be the democracy we currently boast about.

One thing I appreciate about Caplan is his willingness to give his opponents what I would consider a fair shake. 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.

It is pretty much undisputed in the economics profession at least the author states that free trade among nations is beneficial for both nations: I definitely wasn’t convinced of the strength of all the arguments in the book, and by the time I got to the end I felt a bit unsatisfied and unresolved, but it was worth the read if for no other reason than it forces you to confront the issue of bad policy decisions in ways that are rarely talked about, and from an angle that is quite different from the typical discussions of these issues.

Caplan’s catchy diatribe is a fascinating contribution to public debate. That said much if not all that the author says here still applies.