The Ongoing Debate Over Political Ignorance: Reply to My Critics

Critical Review, Vol. 27, Nos. 3-4, pp. 380-414, 2015 (Symposium on Democracy and Political Ignorance)

George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 16-03

37 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Ilya Somin

Ilya Somin

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: February 8, 2016

Abstract

The participants in this Critical Review symposium raise many insightful criticisms and reservations about my book Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government Is Smarter. But none substantially undermine its main thesis: that rational political ignorance and rational irrationality are major problems for democracy that are best addressed by limiting and decentralizing government power. Part I of this reply addresses criticisms of my analysis of the problem of political ignorance and its causes. Part II assesses challenges to my proposed solution.

Keywords: rational ignorance, elections, rational irrationality, federalism, foot voting, democracy, voting, information, information shortcuts, miracle of aggregation, exit rights, polling, political ignorance, Anthony Downs

JEL Classification: D71, D80, H10, H11, H41, H70, H73, H77

Suggested Citation

Somin, Ilya, The Ongoing Debate Over Political Ignorance: Reply to My Critics (February 8, 2016). Critical Review, Vol. 27, Nos. 3-4, pp. 380-414, 2015 (Symposium on Democracy and Political Ignorance), George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 16-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2729312

Ilya Somin (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8069 (Phone)
703-993-8124 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sls.gmu.edu/ilya-somin/

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