11 – Voting

Is it rational to vote?

We realize the audio quality when we have live guests is terrible, we’re working to fix that now, hopefully things will start sounding better very soon. Thanks for bearing with us!

Eneasz wants to say that his understanding of Timeless Decision Theory is likely flawed, because it is big and complicated and he is small and simple. His interpretation of it in this episode is not necessarily entirely correct, it is merely his best understanding. He is, as always, open to correction.

Mentioned in this episode:

Mail-in vote can decrease turn-out (includes an alternative explanation as well)

Andrew Gelman on the probability of your particular vote making a difference (pdf!)

Following-up – Andrew Gelman on why you should maybe vote anyway

Caprini’s What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters

Peter Singer’s Why Vote?, defending compulsory voting

Wikipedia on Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem

Wittman’s The Myth of Democratic Failure: Why Political Institutions Are Efficient, and Caplan’s reply – The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies

PredictWise, the prediction market!

Hanson’s “Futarchy,” where we would vote on values, but bet on beliefs

Wikipedia on Effective Number of Parties

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11 Responses to 11 – Voting

  1. Jess says:

    I love this podcast and all the work you put into relevant links and followup 🙂 keep up the excellent work, guys!

  2. eddiephlash says:

    I’m surprised there was no Brexit talk, but maybe this was recorded before that all went down. If more rational-minded people in UK voted last week, it would have been a different story.

    • Katrina Stanton says:

      Yup, it was recorded well before the Brexit vote. I can assure you that Tim was very unhappy with the result, as were most professional economists.

  3. Green0Photon says:

    What happened to the mic? It sounds lower quality in this episode. 🙁

    • Katrina Stanton says:

      Microphones and locations continue to be an ever-evolving adventure as we try to find setups that work!

  4. Pingback: How We Vote | projectdxm

  5. I was very disappointed when Tim said that no voting system is immune to strategical voting, because Arrow’s impossibility theorem only applies to ranking systems.

    In France, we had an experiment from political scientists with value voting, where each candidate is scored between -2 and +2. I think this system satisfy all criteria considered by Arrow and experiment showed it has a very low level of voter error (it is easily understood).

    • I recently found out an english website on the subject, and the english term is actually range voting. They have a page on the fact that the impossibility theorem for ranking systems doesn’t apply to range voting:


    • Imuli says:

      Rated voting systems are pretty much strictly better than ranked ones, but they are still susceptible to strategic voting. If you have a favored candidate, you think they are less common, and you think that your other preferred candidates are more popular, it can make strategic sense to vote -2 for everyone except your one favored candidate.

  6. Pingback: 22 – Moral Philosophy | The Bayesian Conspiracy

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