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

Posted By Don Boudreaux On December 20, 2012 @ 9:17 am In Myths and Fallacies,Politics,Reality Is Not Optional | Comments Disabled

… is this new paper in the American Political Science Review by Gregory A. Huber, Seth J. Hill, and Gabriel S. Lenz [1].  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.)

Yep.

Actually, not only is Bryan [2], I’m sure, utterly unsurprised by these findings, so too would be Jim Buchanan [3], Anthony Downs [4]Gordon Tullock [5] and every other public-choice [6] 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.

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[1] this new paper in the American Political Science Review by Gregory A. Huber, Seth J. Hill, and Gabriel S. Lenz: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8757138&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0003055412000391

[2] Bryan: http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Rational-Voter-Democracies/dp/0691138737/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338505059&sr=1-1

[3] Jim Buchanan: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Buchanan.html

[4] Anthony Downs: http://www.amazon.com/Economic-Theory-Democracy-Anthony-Downs/dp/0060417501/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356013050&sr=1-1&keywords=anthony+downs+economic+theory+democracy

[5] Gordon Tullock: http://www.law.gmu.edu/faculty/directory/emeritus/tullock_gordon

[6] public-choice: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/PublicChoice.html

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