Give Me Some Fair Questions
By Bryan Caplan
I think that people are a lot more rational (and better-informed) as consumers than they are as voters. Other people disagree. Pointing to existing surveys isn’t a very helpful way to resolve this debate: If people get 70% on a consumer knowledge test, and 55% on a voter knowledge test, one could always object that the questions are not of comparable difficulty.
An alternate strategy is to create a survey comprised of new questions that I and my critics stipulate, ex ante, to be of equal difficulty. So here’s my request: In the comments, please give me pairs of comparably difficult questions relevant to consumer and voter decision-making.
P.S. Here’s an example of what I’m looking for:
Question for consumers: Out of, say, six spending categories, where does the average consumer spend the most? The second most? The least?
Question for voters: Out of, say, six spending categories, where does the federal government spend the most? The second most? The least?