July 17, 2007 Around the Web

The Myth of the Rational Voter

Economist Bryan Caplan argues that the quality of policymaking in democracies is poor because the incentives facing voters encourage them to choose irrationally.

Featuring Bryan Caplan, Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University, with comments by Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research, Pew Research Center, Coauthor of What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters, and Will Wilkinson, Policy Analyst and Managing Editor of Cato Unbound, Cato Institute.

In his groundbreaking new book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies, economist Bryan Caplan of George Mason University argues that the quality of policymaking in democracies is poor because the incentives facing voters encourage them to choose irrationally. Drawing on survey evidence, Caplan shows that voters are systematically biased in favor of certain harmful economic policies and argues that the scope of democratic choice should be limited.