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date: 18 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the role of cue taking by citizens. Cue taking is a way to answer the question: can democracy work when most of the public is rationally ignorant? The cue-taking literature gives a resounding “yes” as an answer to this question. This chapter elaborates upon the reasons for this answer and the conditions under which it holds. There are, however, reasons to be cautious in being too optimistic about this answer. While cue-taking behavior is both present and helpful, it is not infallible. The chapter also notes the times when cue-taking behavior does not really allow one to say that it is a panacea so far as democratic decision making is concerned.

Keywords: information, information cues, party cues, rational ignorance, information pooling, judgments

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