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A Link Between Schooling and the Quality of Political Choices: Does a Higher Level of Education Help Democracies to Choose Better Policies?

In this paper I enter in an unexplored field of the study of political decisions: the effect of a higher education on the quality of policy choices. I will study if attending a 4 year college can lead the voter to a more open-minded attitude and away from the conservative vision inborn in the average voter. Using as reference the thesis of Caplan on the systematic error of the voter I will study the choices of the citizen on five different policy proposals. The results will show how the voters, although not always, typically obtain a benefit from attending a 4 year college, implying that a more educated citizen would benefit democracy, reviving a debate in politics devoid of biases.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
7 1. Introduction “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter” Sir Winston Churchill Theoretically, democracy is a shield against harmful policies put in place by dictators who claim, with only their ideas, to be representatives of the people and to implement for them bad policies. In practice, unfortunately frequently, democracy, even with the noble goal to give a voice to all, leads us to imperfect policies. My thesis is built and based on the American average voter and the American elections, which are among the largest, most expensive and most comprehensive marketing efforts 1 . Great amounts of market research is conducted in order to better understand the political ideas of the electorate (“polling”). The basic candidate positioning framework is built on Hotelling (1929). Voters are distributed along a line with their locations representing their “ideal” policy positions, and a voter is assumed to vote for the candidate closest to his ideal position. Two candidates compete to obtain more than 50 % of the vote by choosing positions along the line. A key result is the median voter theorem (Downs 1957): in equilibrium, both candidates choose the position that is favored by the median voter. In order to win an election politicians choose and implement policies closer to the preferences of the median voter to gain as many votes as possible. The problem arises when the electorate is ignorant on economic matters. 1 Gordon et al. (2012)

International thesis/dissertation

Facoltà: Economia

Autore: Valerio Colluto Contatta »

Composta da 55 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 24 click dal 23/09/2013.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.