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Good Intentions—Bad Consequences

Political scientists have written extensively about voters’ lack of information, but they have ignored one of the most important voter information problems: lack of information about the consequences of the policies they advocate.

This problem is particularly severe among voters who want to “do good” but are uninformed about essential features of their attempts to do so. It is the information problems of that group of voters that generates the main distinction between what voters intend and the consequences these intentions produce.