segunda-feira, outubro 20, 2008

O Professor e o Monstro.

Larry Bartels tem um ensaio imperdível intitulado "The Irrational Electorate" na The Wilson Quartely. A economia comportamental está na berra, e chega a altura da sua influência se sentir também na Ciência Política. Bartels chega a citar um dos mais conhecidos livros de divulgação sobre o tema, que por acaso li nestas férias:

Outros livros relacionados que li nestas férias, já agora:

Achei-os todos muito bons, o Winner's Curse mais canonicamente académico, os restantes óptimos livros de divulgação académica (o Nudge mais "policy-oriented", aparentemente próximo dos círculos de Obama), como cá não há.
Voltando a Bartels:
"These and other recent studies offer abundant evidence that election outcomes can be powerfully affected by factors unrelated to the competence and convictions of the candidates. But if voters are so whimsical, choosing the candidate with the most ­competent-­looking face or the most recent television ad, how do they often manage to sound so sensible? Most people seem able to provide ­cogent-­sounding reasons for voting the way they do. However, careful observation suggests that these “reasons” often are merely rationalizations constructed from readily available campaign rhetoric to justify preferences formed on other ­grounds."
O ensaio é uma crítica à ideia de que os votantes são racionais e de que a sua ignorância possa ser compensada quer pelo recurso a "heurísticas" quer pela agregação das decisões individuais.

E uma curiosidade: Rush Limbaugh adorou o ensaio. Sim, Rush Limbaugh:
"I mention this story, actually it's an article from the Wilson Quarterly, the Woodrow Wilson Center for scholars: "The Irrational Electorate." It's by Larry Bartels who directs the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics in Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is the author of Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age, published earlier this year by the Russell Sage Foundation and Princeton University Press. Now, when you print it out, it runs four or five pages. I'm not a scholar, and Mr. Bartels is, and, to me, the first part -- I had to read this a bunch of times. It reads like gobbledygook, and what it is is an analysis of a whole bunch of studies worldwide over many, many decades of the electorates, the electorates in democracies. And let me just give you some excerpts. One sentence in this piece -- and this is about how people determine who they are going to vote for. People are very short term in their focus. They tend to vote based on how the economy is going, rewarding or throwing the bums out regardless of party. But here's some interesting bits for you."

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