Mises, Bastiat, Public Opinion, and Public Choice: What's Wrong with Democracy?
George Mason University - Center for Study of Public Choice
Edward Peter Stringham
Trinity College; Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business
Review of Political Economy, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 79-105, January 2005
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 tra4itional public choice to emerge during the last decade and point to many avenues for future research.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
JEL Classification: D72, H10, P16, B53
Date posted: September 10, 2010 ; Last revised: December 15, 2010
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