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Second Reply to Caplan: The Power and the Glory of the Median Voter

  • Donald Wittman

IT IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE THE LAST WORD. I WILL NOT make a point-by-point counter-argument to Brian Caplan’s Rejoinder (2005b) because doing so would exhaust my patience, as well as the readers’ (but probably not Caplan’s). Instead, I will present some general arguments that can be employed in answering a variety of questions. In my response I will: explain why there is a demand for democratic failure theories; predict which voters will appear to act irrationally; explain why evidence of voter irrationality does not imply that government policy is irrational; show why Caplan’s argument that voters are rationally irrational when they vote does not conform with the facts; and suggest empirical tests that might be employed to gain greater insight into voter behavior.

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Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 186-195

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:2:y:2005:i:2:p:186-195
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  1. Wittman, Donald, 2005. "Pressure Groups And Political Advertising: How Uninformed Voters Can Use Strategic Rules Of Thumb," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t32483f, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  2. Donald Wittman, 2005. "Reply to Caplan: On the Methodology of Testing for Voter Irrationality," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(1), pages 22-31, April.
  3. Bryan Caplan, 2005. "From Friedman to Wittman: The Transformation of Chicago Political Economy," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, April.
  4. Bryan Caplan, 2005. "Rejoinder to Wittman: True Myths," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(2), pages 165-185, August.
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