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Learning from Decentralised Policy: The Demand Side

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  • Jan Schnellenbach

    ()
    (Department for Public Economics, Marburg University)

Abstract

A 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.This paper looks at competition in the telecommunication industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by JEPS in its series JEPS Working Papers with number 05-001.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jep:wpaper:05001

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Related research

Keywords: Policy decentralisation; fiscal competition; model uncertainty; collective learning;

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References

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  1. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  2. Wolfgang Kerber & Nicole J. Saam, 2001. "Competition As a Test of Hypotheses: Simulation of Knowledge-Generating Market Processes," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(3), pages 2.
  3. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
  4. Hirschman, Albert O, 1989. "Having Opinions--One of the Elements of Well-Being?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 75-79, May.
  5. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  6. Viktor Vanberg & Wolfgang Kerber, 1994. "Institutional competition among jurisdictions: An evolutionary approach," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 193-219, March.
  7. Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
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Cited by:
  1. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, 06.
  2. 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.

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