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Mises, bastiat, public opinion, and public choice

  • Bryan Caplan
  • Edward Stringham

The political economy of Ludwig von Mises and Frederic Bastiat has been largely ignored even by their admirers. We argue that Mises' and Bastiat's views in this area were both original and insightful. While traditional public choice generally maintains that democracy fails because voters' views are rational but ignored, the Mises-Bastiat view is that democracy fails because voters' views are irrational but heeded. Mises and Bastiat anticipate many of the most effective criticisms of traditional public choice to emerge during the last decade and point to many avenues for future research.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 17 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 79-105

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Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:17:y:2005:i:1:p:79-105
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  1. Bryan Caplan, 2000. "Rational Irrationality: A Framework for the Neoclassical-Behavioral Debate," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 191-211, Spring.
  2. Robert J. Blendon, 1997. "Bridging the Gap between the Public's and Economists' Views of the Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 105-118, Summer.
  3. Sheffrin,Steven M., 1996. "Rational Expectations," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521474009, October.
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:3:p:371-400 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Paul H. Rubin, 2003. "Folk Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 157-171, July.
  6. John Charles Bradbury & W. Mark Crain, 2002. "Bicameral Legislatures and Fiscal Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 646-659, January.
  7. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  8. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the "Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy."," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 395-426, October.
  9. Charles K. Rowley, 1994. "Public choice economics," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics, chapter 41 Edward Elgar.
  10. Kenneth F. Scheve & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 109.
  11. Bryan Caplan, 2002. "Systematically Biased Beliefs About Economics: Robust Evidence of Judgemental Anomalies from the Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 433-458, April.
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