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 individual cost of voting is very low, and the individual impact of bad policy is myht lower. Caplan believes that that something else is the biases he enumerated earlier. Conventional public choice either emphasizes the efficiency of democracy as in the case of Donald Wittman or, ovter commonly, democratic failure because of the interaction between self-interested politicians or bureaucratswell-organized, rent-seeking special interests and a largely indifferent general public as in the work of Gordon TullockJames M.

That said much if not all that the author says here still applies. Then conservative economists and conservative noneconomists should agree. Caplan identifies the primary biases that lead to stupid economic decisions as antimarket bias, antiforiegn bias, make-work bias i.

Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, thd personal biases held by ordinary voters.

Lf the author argues they are rational only because it is costly to be wrong. Jun 28, Nathaniel rated it really liked it. Caplan refers to the anti-foreign bias as a “tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners. They are an awesome resource! To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.


Aug 30, Sergei Moska rated capoan liked it. Jul 31, Courtney rated it liked it. Caplan goes on to outline several biases regarding economics held by the general public – the anti-market bias, the anti-foreign bias, the make work bias, and the pessimistic bias — and presents empirical evidence to support his capoan.

My takeaway and derived thoughts from this book: First, in particular, 2 might be not a necessary requirement: In any event, a fun book, and good enough to prompt me to write a too lengthy review: He quite clearly understands the impossibility of either. Most people would agree that government is a mess, especially right now in the US. Also extensively analyzes why people in their role as the electorate can have objectively irrational beliefs without hurting themselves too much, and why policies end up less bad than the electorate would otherwise demand.

First, a few premises. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. May 03, Sergey Steblyov rated it really liked it.

Caplan’s catchy diatribe is a fascinating contribution to public debate. Oct 29, Trey Malone rated it it was amazing.

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

More often it means the winning candidate was simply better at pandering to a larger dumber audience – which is what liberalised democratic politics has always been about. Chock full of relevant and obscure and illuminating insights that will knock your socks off!

Should the free market reign over democracy? The SAEE asked 1, random members of the American public and people with PhDs in economics the same questions concerning the economy. He makes special emphasis that politicians are often caught between a rock and a hard place: For some people, thinking hurts and so they avoid it if they can.


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Economists, on the other hand, brryan pay any heed to such arguments. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public funds treasury.

May 26, Jurij Fedorov rated it it was amazing. 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 rationql on themselves.

All things being equal, economic rationality would require that these people make use of their talents elsewhere.

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

Across all income and education and political affiliations, people vote for policies that they think will make the country better, even when it might not be in their own best interest.

Return to Book Page. And they are xaplan better. You don’t have to agree with everything he says — I have a few minor disagreements with some of his ultra-libertarian views– to enjoy this book.