A developing research program of behavioral political economy can help shed light on important social and political practices that fall outside the strict rational actor model but that are of central importance to democratic theory. Those practices include the deliberative activities of argumentation, information acquisition, and learning. Game theoretic models and experimental studies of collective decisions that are part of the behavioral political economy tradition offer insights into the strategic implications of these practices, linking them to ideological polarization and measures of the informational quality of individual and collective choices. In so doing, they help generate comprehensive assessments of these practices and their institutional influences, thus buttressing the normative philosophical arguments.

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