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Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines

Editor-in-Chief: Garello, Pierre

Ed. by Gentier, Antoine

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.101

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Volume 21, Issue 1-2


Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 16 (2010)

Volume 15 (2009)

Rational Irrationality Across Institutional Contexts

Ryan H. Murphy
  • Corresponding author
  • SMU Cox School of Business, O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750333, Dallas, TX 75275, USA
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Published Online: 2015-11-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jeeh-2015-0005


This paper considers how Bryan Caplan’s concept of rational irrationality may manifest in various political institutional arrangements, building off the demand curve for irrationality. Mob democracy, anarchy, autocracy, and constitutionally constrained democracy are the governance structures addressed. While anarchy is strictly better than mob democracy, under certain conditions, democracy, anarchy, or constitutionally constrained democracy may yield the best outcomes depending on the circumstances.

Keywords: rational irrationality; comparative institutional analysis; anarchy; autocracy

JEL: D03; D72


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-11-27

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines, Volume 21, Issue 1-2, Pages 67–78, ISSN (Online) 2153-1552, ISSN (Print) 2194-5799, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jeeh-2015-0005.

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