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In the “This Won’t Shock Bryan Caplan” Category…

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… is this new paper in the American Political Science Review by Gregory A. Huber, Seth J. Hill, and Gabriel S. Lenz [2].  The APSR advertises this paper (in a mass e-mail) with this headline: “Average voter is unable to accurately assess politicians, new research shows.”  Yep.  (Warning: I’ve yet to read the paper.  I’m judging it here by its cover, so to speak.)


Actually, not only is Bryan [3], I’m sure, utterly unsurprised by these findings, so too would be Jim Buchanan [4], Anthony Downs [5]Gordon Tullock [6] and every other public-choice [7] scholar worth his or her salt.  I quickly emphasize that the ready understanding of this proposition by public-choice scholars in no way diminishes the importance of such research as that of Huber, Hill, and Lenz.  A continual checking of the facts – especially the facts that, while perhaps well-known to specialists, are controversial to broader audiences – is imperative.