Economist-kings? A critical notice on Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

Read, Rupert (2011) Economist-kings? A critical notice on Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. European Review, 19 (1). pp. 119-129. ISSN 1474-0575

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Abstract

Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies has been received by rave reviews. These reviews appear to have failed to note that Caplan’s book celebrates the market and denigrates democracy at the very time when markets worldwide have failed and democracies have ridden to the rescue. It thus appears to have been undermined fatally by events that occurred as it was published (and which Caplan artfully omits to mention in the more recent paperback edition). Caplan’s book in fact stands in the long tradition of anti-democratic writings that argue that an elite must rule. An elite of free-market economists. An elite no longer in good odour, since the financial crisis (and the climate crisis) occurred and became starkly evident to all. This Critical Notice also points out that numerous of Caplan’s key claims, such as that individual voters have zero effect on election results, are empirically false.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: democracy,election,elite politics,literature review,policy approach,political economy,voting behaviour
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
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Depositing User: Davide Rizza
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2012 15:55
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 13:45
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/38719
DOI: 10.1017/S1062798710000426

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