Self-Check Questions


Based on the theory of rational ignorance, what should we expect to happen to voter turnout as the internet makes information easier to obtain?


What is the cost of voting in an election?


What is the main factor that prevents a large community from influencing policy in the same way as a special interest group?


Why might legislators vote to impose a tariff on Egyptian cotton, when consumers in their districts would benefit from its availability?


True or false: Majority rule can fail to produce a single preferred outcome when there are more than two choices.


Anastasia, Emma, and Greta are deciding what to do on a weekend getaway. They each suggest a first, second, and third choice, and then vote on the options. Their first choice, second choice, and third choice preferences are shown in Table 18.2. Explain why they will have a hard time reaching a decision. Does the group prefer mountain biking to canoeing? What about canoeing compared to the beach? What about the beach compared to the original choice of mountain biking?

Anastasia Emma Greta
First choice Beach Mountain biking Canoeing
Second choice Mountain biking Canoeing Beach
Third choice Canoeing Beach Mountain biking
Table 18.2

Suppose an election is being held for Soft Drink Commissioner. The field consists of one candidate from the Pepsi party and four from the Coca-Cola party. This would seem to indicate a strong preference for Coca-Cola among the voting population, but the Pepsi candidate ends up winning in a landslide. Why does this happen?