Brian Caplan, The Myth of the Rational Voter (2007), Chapter 2.

Main Argument:

Caplan argues against economist’s theoretical aversion to systematic bias. He states that systematic mistakes do exist and summaries in what types of situations, researches should be aware of systematic error in their surveys.

 

Method: Theory.

 

 

== Notes ==

 

Chapter 2:

 

Economists/political science research has been able to simulate what policy positions would look like if people were fully informed and expressed their preferences with full information:

 

Previous Findings about the error between enlightened and actual preferences: (Althaus)

  1. Fully informed positions on foreign policy are more interventionist but also more dovish
  2. Fully informed positions are more pro-choice, supportive of gay rights, etc…
  3. Fully informed positions are more fiscally conservative

 

Four Types of Bias:

 

– Anti-market Bias: a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of the market mechanism

– Anti-foreign Bias: a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of interaction with foreigners

– Make-work Bias: a tendency to underestimate the economic benefits of conserving labour

– Pessimistic Bias: a tendency to overestimate the severity of economic problems and underestimate the recent past, present and future performance of the economy