Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Reply to Caplan: On the Methodology of Testing for Voter Irrationality


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A COMMON COMPLAINT BY AUTHORS IS THAT THEIR REVIEWERS have misinterpreted what the author has said. This is not my complaint here, because Bryan Caplan has explained my position better than I have. And I certainly cannot complain when Caplan sees my views as being more opposed to Lenin’s views than Milton Friedman’s are. Furthermore, I agree with two of Caplan’s major points: (1) that people are more likely to be irrational or uninformed (I add the latter because it is often hard to distinguish the two) when the cost of being so is slight; and (2) that more empirical work on voter rationality is needed (as an aside, I would like to add that Caplan has made important steps in this direction).