Politická ekonomie
Politická ekonomie
Politická ekonomie
TEORETICKÝ ČASOPIS • ISSN 0032-3233 (Print) • ISSN 2336-8225 (Online)

Politická ekonomie Vol. 65 No. 4

Ekonomická analýza referenda

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18267/j.polek.1155

[plný text (PDF)]

Petr Špecián

The paper synthesizes the current literature regarding information aggregation, voter competence, voting paradox and behavioral economics in order to answer the question whether the phenomenon of "wisdom of the crowds" can be reasonably relied upon during a referendum. Review of the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ research reveals two key assumptions: voter competence and voter independence. Although direct testing of the actual fulfillment of these assumptions in a real-world setting is not possible, both empirical literature on voting behavior and rational choice theory provide ample ground for skepticism in this regard. Low level of knowledge together with unmitigated influence of systematic biases is expected to dominate the actual voting behavior. Affect heuristic is used as an example to illustrate this point. The paper concludes that referendum does not seem to be a reliable way to revealing preferences regarding various social issues.

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