Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines

Editor-in-Chief: Garello, Pierre

Ed. by Gentier, Antoine

2 Issues per year


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.101

Online
ISSN
2153-1552
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 21, Issue 1-2

Issues

Volume 24 (2018)

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
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-11-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jeeh-2015-0005

Abstract

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

References

  • Acemoglu, D., and J. Robison. 2012. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. New York: Crown Business.Google Scholar

  • Almeida, H., and D. Ferreira. 2002. “Democracy and the Variability of Performance.” Economics & Politics 14 (3):225–57.Google Scholar

  • Brennan, G., and L. Lomasky. 1993. Democracy and Decision: The Pure Theory of Electoral Preference. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2001a. “Rational Ignorance Versus Rational Irrationality.” Kyklos 54 (1):3–26.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2001b. “What Makes People Think Like Economists? Evidence on Economic Cognition from the ‘Survey of Americans and Economists on the Economy.” Journal of Law and Economics 44 (2):395–426.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2003. “The Logic of Collective Belief.” Rationality and Society 15:218–42.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2007a. The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2007b. “Have the Experts Been Weighed, Measured, and Found Wanting?” Critical Review 19 (1):81–91.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2008. “Reply to My Critics.” Critical Review 20 (3):377–413.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2010. “Persuasion, Slack, and Traps: How Can Economists Change the World?” Public Choice 142 (1–2):1–8.Google Scholar

  • Caplan, B. 2012. “Why is Democracy Tolerable? Evidence from Affluence and Influence.” Econlog. http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/09/why_is_democrac.html.

  • Collier, P. 2010. Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar

  • Easterly, W. 2011. “Benevolent Autocrats.” Working Paper. http://williameasterly.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/BenevolentAutocrats.pdf.

  • Freedom House. 2014. Freedom in the World. https://freedomhouse.org/.

  • Friedman, D. 1989. The Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism. La Salle, IN: Open Court Publishing.Google Scholar

  • Fukuyama, F. 2011. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.Google Scholar

  • Johar, J. S., and M. Joseph Sirgy. 1991. “Value-Expressive Versus Utilitarian Advertising Appeals: When and Why to Use Which Appeal.” Journal of Advertising 20 (3):23–33.Google Scholar

  • Klein, D. 1998. “Quality-and-Safety Assurance: How Voluntary Social Processes Remedy Their Own Shortcomings.” The Independent Review 2 (4):537–55.Google Scholar

  • Leeson, P. 2014. Anarchy Unbound: Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Marshall, M. G., and B. R. Cole. 2011. Global Report 2011: Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility. Vienna, VA: Center for Systemic Peace. http://www.systemicpeace.org/vlibrary/GlobalReport2011.pdf.Google Scholar

  • Murphy, R. 2015. “The Willingness-to-Pay for Caplanian Irrationality.” Rationality and Society forthcoming.

  • Rodrik, D. 2000. “Institutions for High-Quality Growth: What They Are and How to Acquire Them.” Studies in Comparative International Development 35 (3):3–31.Google Scholar

  • Somin, I. 2013. Democracy and Political Ignorance. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Taylor, B., and E. Crampton. 2009. “Anarchy, Preferences, and Robust Political Economy.” Working Paper. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1340779.

  • Zakaria, F. 2003. The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar

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.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in