Authors
Gerald Gaus
Last affiliation: University of Arizona
Abstract
From Mill to, most recently, Bryan Caplan, political and economic elites have been seen as the solution to the public’s ignorance and incompetence. In order to show that elites are actually more competent than the public, however, we would have to find out what type of knowledge is necessary to enact good public policy. The empirical evidence shows that economic experts have a slight advantage over the general public in knowledge of how to achieve policy goals. But, contrary to Caplan, the evidence indicates that economists don’t possess significant predictive knowledge, and that general economic laws are of little help in predicting the magnitude of the effects of a specific policy in a multi‐variable, complex world. When we adopt a more complex understanding of the reasons behind policy choice, and consider rules and principles in addition to goal pursuit, the slight edge of economic experts evaporates
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Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1080/08913810802503467
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References found in this work BETA

On the Psychology of Prediction.Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky - 1973 - Psychological Review 80 (4):237-251.

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Citations of this work BETA

Political Disagreement and Minimal Epistocracy.Adam F. Gibbons - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (2).
Democracy Despite Ignorance: Questioning the Veneration of Knowledge in Politics.Simon T. Kaye - 2015 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 27 (3-4):316-337.
The Choice of Efficiencies and the Necessity of Politics.Michael Bennett - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-20.
Reply to My Critics.Bryan Caplan - 2008 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 20 (3):377-413.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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