Economic Approach to Democracy by Matsusaka.doc

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Political Science
POL S 270
Anthony Gill

“Economic Approach to Democracy,” John G. Matsusaka I. Democracy doesn’t work! People don’t vote because: a. Rational choice perspective on voting = ignorance is ration because costs outweigh the benefits *** i. Costs: 1. Time and effort 2. Knowledge is expensive 3. Registration is difficult, time costly 4. Giving up freedoms, tyranny of the majority, need to vote for representatives ii. Benefits: 1. Equality, fairness, justice, level playing field to obtain benefits 2. Bill of Rights, rights and representation b. There are no physical rewards c. There is no enforcement II. Voter Ignorance a. Political campaigns tend to be personal and symbolic issues (moral, polarizing) b. It is costly to collect information about policies and representatives (time & $) c. Choosing insignificant issues III. The goal of the representatives is to maxi
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