The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

By Bryan Caplan | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I AM BLESSED with an abundance of argumentative but encouraging colleagues, but there are two to whom I am especially grateful.

The first is Don Boudreaux, who urged me to begin serious research on voter rationality right after the 1998 Public Choice Outreach Seminar. In a discipline where praise is extremely scarce, Don was quick to tell me that he loved my approach, and hasn't stopped telling me since. I really wonder whether I would have written this book—or any of the papers it builds on—without Don's support.

The second is Tyler Cowen, my constant critic. Since I joined the faculty at George Mason, Tyler has never failed to read my work and tell me what I'm doing wrong. No one has reviewed more drafts of this book than Tyler did, or asked harder questions. I can't remember the last time we agreed, but I still feel like he taught me half of everything I know.

I am also eternally grateful to the institution of lunch. Years of debate with lunchtime regulars Tyler, Robin Hanson, and Alex Tabarrok were required to turn my raw ideas into a finished product. And they were only the beginning. Scores of other lunch-goers have heard my views and given me feedback, including Scott Beaulier, David Bernstein, Tim Besley, Pete Boettke, Don Boudreaux, J. C. Bradbury, Geoff Brennan, Corina Caplan, Roger Congleton, Mark Crain, Eric Crampton, Gordon Dahl, Veronique de Rugy, Bill Dickens, Zac Gochenour, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Donald Green, Friedrich Heinemann, Bob Higgs, Randy Holcombe, Dan Houser, Jeff Hummel, Larry Iannaccone, Scott Keeter, Dan Klein, Arnold Kling, Ken Koford, George Krause, Timur Kuran, David Levy, Jacob Levy, Loren Lomasky, John Lott, Daniel Lurker, John Matsusaka, Kevin McCabe, Mitch Mitchell, Nathaniel Paxson, Ben Powell, Ilia Rainer, Carlos Ramirez, Joe Reid, Fab Rojas, Russ Roberts, Charles Rowley, Paul Rubin, Joe Salerno, Jim Schneider, Andrew Sellgren, Thomas Stratmann, Ed Stringham, Tom TerBush, Gordon Tullock, Dick Wagner, Walter Williams, and Donald Wittman.

As much fun as the lunches were, though, I especially want to thank those who read drafts of the manuscript and gave me detailed comments: Scott Beaulier, Pete Boettke, Eric Crampton, Tyler Cowen, Andrew Gelman, David Gordon, Robin Hanson, Michael Huemer, Dan Klein, Arnold Kling, Geoffrey Lea, David Levenstaum, Steve Miller, Nathaniel Paxson, Russ Roberts, Fab Rojas, Russ Sobel, Ilya Somin, Ed Stringham, Koleman Strumpf, Tim Sullivan, Dan Sutter, Alex Ta

-xiii-

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