By Bryan Caplan
"Caplan argues that electorate continuously select politicians who both proportion their biases otherwise fake to, leading to undesirable regulations successful time and again by way of renowned call for. Calling into query our most simple assumptions approximately American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails accurately since it does what electorate wish. via an research of American's vote casting habit and critiques on a number of economic matters, he makes the case that noneconomists be afflicted by 4 triumphing biases: they underestimate the knowledge of the industry mechanism, mistrust foreigners, undervalue some great benefits of protecting hard work, and pessimistically think the financial system goes from undesirable to worse. Caplan lays out a number of how one can make democratic govt paintings better. Read more...
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Extra resources for The myth of the rational voter : why democracies choose bad policies
62 Modern conditions do make antiforeign bias easier to spot. To take one prominent example, immigration is far more of an issue now than it was in Smith’s time. Economists are predictably quick to see S Y S T E M AT I C A L LY B I A S E D B E L I E F S 39 the beneﬁts of immigration. Trade in labor is roughly the same as trade in goods. Specialization and exchange raise output—for instance, by letting skilled American moms return to work by hiring Mexican nannies. In terms of the balance of payments, immigration is a nonissue.
The distribution of enlightened S Y S T E M AT I C A L LY B I A S E D B E L I E F S 27 preferences would equal the distribution of actual, “unenlightened” preferences. In practice, though, the enlightened preference approach has a big payoff: Systematic effects of knowledge on policy preferences are large and ubiquitous. ”16 He goes on to provide an excellent summary of the three most noteworthy patterns in the data: 1. ”17 If the public’s knowledge of politics magically increased, isolationism would be less popular.
To take one prominent example, immigration is far more of an issue now than it was in Smith’s time. Economists are predictably quick to see S Y S T E M AT I C A L LY B I A S E D B E L I E F S 39 the beneﬁts of immigration. Trade in labor is roughly the same as trade in goods. Specialization and exchange raise output—for instance, by letting skilled American moms return to work by hiring Mexican nannies. In terms of the balance of payments, immigration is a nonissue. If an immigrant moves from Mexico City to New York, and spends all his earnings in his new homeland, the balance of trade does not change.