Rational ignorance is not bliss: When do lazy voters learn from decentralised policy experiments?
AbstractA popular argument about economic policy under uncertainty states that decentralisation offers the possibility to learn from local or regional policy experiments. We argue that such learning processes are not trivial and do not occur frictionlessly: Voters have an inherent tendency to retain a given stock of policy-related knowledge which was costly to accumulate, so that yardstick competition is improbable to function well particularly for complex issues if representatives’ actions are tightly controlled by the electorate. Decentralisation provides improved learning processes compared to unitary systems, but the results we can expect are far from the ideal mechanisms of producing and utilising knowledge often described in the literature.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0441.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision: May 2007
Policy decentralisation; fiscal competition; model uncertainty; collective learning.;
Other versions of this item:
- Jan Schnellenbach, 2008. "Rational Ignorance is not Bliss: When do Lazy Voters Learn from Decentralised Policy Experiments?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 228(4), pages 372-393, August.
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-06-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2007-06-18 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CDM-2007-06-18 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-KNM-2007-06-18 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-PBE-2007-06-18 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2007-06-18 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999.
"Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions,"
4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
- Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
- Thomas Doring & Jan Schnellenbach, 2006.
"What do we know about geographical knowledge spillovers and regional growth?: A survey of the literature,"
Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 375-395.
- Döring, Thomas & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2004. "What Do We Know About Geographical Knowledge Spillovers and Regional Growth? A Survey of the Literature," Research Notes 14, Deutsche Bank Research.
- Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 2000. "Decentralization and the Search for Policy Solutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 102-28, April.
- Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
- Jan Schnellenbach, 2004. "Model uncertainty and the rationality of economic policy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 101-116, January.
- Leah Platt Boustan & Price V. Fishback & Shawn E. Kantor, 2007.
"The Effect of Internal Migration on Local Labor Markets: American Cities During the Great Depression,"
NBER Working Papers
13276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Leah Platt Boustan & Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor, 2010. "The Effect of Internal Migration on Local Labor Markets:American Cities during the Great Depression," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 719-746, October.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- SALMON, Pierre, 1987.
"Decentralization as an incentive scheme,"
Institut des MathÃ©matiques Economiques â Document de travail de lâI.M.E. (1974-1993)
98, Institut des Mathématiques Economiques. LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2005.
"Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1516, CESifo Group Munich.
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2009. "Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 91-114, 02.
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2005. "Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons," CREMA Working Paper Series 2005-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Kirman, Alan, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-56, February.
- Schnellenbach, Jan, 2007. "Public entrepreneurship and the economics of reform," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 183-202, August.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2004. "The complex evolution of a simple traffic convention: the functions and implications of habit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 19-47, May.
- Brian Arthur, W. & Ermoliev, Yu. M. & Kaniovski, Yu. M., 1987. "Path-dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-303, June.
- Federico Revelli, 2002. "Testing the taxmimicking versus expenditure spill-over hypotheses using English data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1723-1731.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M, 1997. "The Ubiquity of Habits and Rules," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(6), pages 663-84, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gabi Rauscher).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.