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How Elitism Undermines the Study of Voter Competence

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  • Lupia, Arthur

Abstract

A form of elitism undermines much writing on voter competence. The elitist move occurs when an author uses a self-serving worldview as the basis for evaluating voters. Such elitism is apparent in widely cited measures of “political knowledge” and in common claims about what voters should know. The elitist move typically limits the credibility and practical relevance of the analysis by leading writers to draw unreliable conclusions about voter competence. I propose a more constructive way of thinking about what voters know. Its chief virtue is its consistency with basic facts about the relationship between information and choice.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/349/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 349.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:349

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Keywords: information; search; competence; political knowledge; public policy;

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  1. Arthur Lupia, 2005. "Necessary Conditions for Improving Civic Competence: A Scientific Perspective," Public Economics 0510008, EconWPA.
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Cited by:
  1. Lupia, Arthur & Prior, Markus, 2005. "What Citizens Know Depends on How You Ask Them: Political Knowledge and Political Learning Skills," MPRA Paper 103, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 25 Sep 2006.
  2. Arthur Lupia & Adam S. Levine & Jesse O. Menning & Gisela Sin, 2005. "Were Bush Tax Cut Supporters “Simply Ignorant?” A Second Look at Conservatives and Liberals in “Homer Gets a Tax Cut”," Public Economics 0510004, EconWPA.

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