IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Economics Of Illusion

  • George A. Akerlof

When individuals choose not only goods, but also how to process information, there is a bias: people tend to process information so that they feel good about themselves. This bias is particularly important in voting behavior, where agents have almost no individual effect on public choice outcomes, and therefore almost no incentive for unbiased use of information. Two examples are given. In one example, an adaptation of the classic overdepletion problem, the public chooses not to counteract externalities by appropriate tax policy. In the second example public policy follows the choices of experts, contrary to the interest of the public. Copyright 1989 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics & Politics.

Volume (Year): 1 (1989)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 1-15

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:1:y:1989:i:1:p:1-15
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:1:y:1989:i:1:p:1-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.