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Public Choice

, Volume 175, Issue 1–2, pp 215–217 | Cite as

Roger Koppl: Expert failure

Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 2018, xii + 279 pp, USD 29.99 (paperback)
  • Alexander William Salter
Book Review

Expert Failure begins by surveying several troubling instances involving experts, including corruption among judges and heavy-handedness among social workers. These examples motivate the remainder of the book which entails the critical study of experts using the tools of economics. Koppl defines experts as “anyone paid for their opinion” (p. 8). His motivation for exploring the political economy of experts is to better understand the limits of expertise, and to preserve pluralist democracy against managerial bureaucracy. Koppl notes early that his arguments will rely heavily on the Smithian–Hayekian themes of division of labor and division of knowledge within society.

The book is then divided into four parts. The first, containing chapters two through four, is a historical treatment of experts and expertise. Chapter two surveys the social science and social philosophy literatures on experts. Koppl develops a taxonomy of experts based on whether experts are reliable or not, and whether...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rawls College of BusinessTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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