Prof. Bryan Caplan

Econ 812


HW #10 (will NOT be graded)


1.  (1 page, double-spaced)  Why was there platform divergence in the last U.S. presidential election?  In particular, what quantitative importance would you assign to the various theoretical explanations, and why?


2.  (1 page, double-spaced)  How would restricting the franchise to college graduates affect U.S. domestic policy?  In particular, how would the old and the new median voter differ?


3.  (half page, double-spaced)  Name one political issue where you think random errors largely "cancel each other out."  If a referendum were held on this issue, how would the vote shares and outcome differ from a world with perfect information?


4.  (half page, double-spaced)  It frequently happens that two senators who represent  the same state disagree.  Is there any way for the Median Voter Theorem to explain this?


5.  (half page, double-spaced)  Name one policy of the federal government that you believe a majority of Americans oppose.  How does this policy survive?


6.  (2 pages, double-spaced)  Select a theoretical paper on some sort of "political failure."  Pretending you are Donald Wittman, critique the paper's thesis.  What are the objectionable assumptions that drive the results? 


7. (1 page, double-spaced)  What standard stories of political failure are hardest for Caplan's rational irrationality model to explain?