Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Policy Innovation, Decentralised Experimentation, and Laboratory Federalism


Author Info

  • Nicole J. Saam


  • Wolfgang Kerber



Decentralised experimentation and mutual learning of public policies is seen as one of the important advantages of federal systems (Oates: laboratory federalism). Based upon Hayekian ideas of the advantages of decentralised experimentation (as a discovery procedure), we analyse the long-term benefits of parallel experimentation in a federal system from an evolutionary economics perspective. We present a simulation model in which the lower-level jurisdictions in a federal system experiment with randomly chosen policy innovations and can imitate the relatively best solutions. The simulations confirm our hypotheses that a higher degree of decentralisation has positive effects on the long-term accumulation of knowledge of suitable policy solutions and also limits risks through better protection against erroneous policies. Also problems of policy learning and trade offs with (static and dynamic) advantages of centralisation are taken into account.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 7

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-63-2

Contact details of provider:

Related research

Keywords: Laboratory Federalism; Policy Learning; Policy Innovation; Decentralisation;


No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.


Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Josip Stepanic & Mirjana Pejic Bach & Josip Kasac, 2013. "Agent Based Model of Young Researchers in Higher Education Institutions," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage:, vol. 11(2), pages 209-216.


This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-63-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nigel Gilbert).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.