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

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  • Donald Wittman

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Wittman, 2005. "Second Reply to Caplan: The Power and the Glory of the Median Voter," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(2), pages 186-195, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:2:y:2005:i:2:p:186-195
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Bryan Caplan, 2005. "Rejoinder to Wittman: True Myths," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(2), pages 165-185, August.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anthony Evans, 2014. "A subjectivist’s solution to the limits of public choice," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 23-44, March.
    2. José Jorge Gabriel Júnior, 2011. "Democracia E Racionalidade Do Eleitor:Evidências Dos Pleitos Estaduais," Anais do XXXVIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 38th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 066, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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