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Policy Advice during a Crisis


Author Info

  • Mwangi S. Kimenyi

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Germano Mwabu

    (Yale Growth Center and University of Nairobi)


Good policy making is an art. It involves a substantial element of personal judgement about risks and consequences of alternative courses of actions and decisions. It is also a science because it requires systematic gathering and analysis of evidence about a policy issue, and rational assessment of costs and benefits of various ways of addressing the issue. However, in a crisis, there is little time to gather evidence or to search for imaginative solutions to a problem. There is a tendency, in such a situation, to act under pressure rather than on the basis of evidence, analysis or informed judgement. Furthermore, a crisis often creates a situation in which policy makers receive all sorts of advice. This note discusses a set of concepts, originating mainly from economics, that can be used to assess soundness of policy and advice, particularly during a crisis. These are concepts of rationality, sustainability, inclusiveness, feasibility, practicality and tipping, which can be used in decision making in normal and crisis times to reduce risks of disastrous advice or policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2005-41.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2005-41

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Keywords: Policy; risk and uncertainty; crisis; prudence; tipping.;

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  1. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1972. "Value Judgments and Economists' Role in Policy Recommendation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(327), pages 1014-18, September.
  2. Peacock, Alan, 1992. "The Credibility of Economic Advice to Government," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1213-22, September.
  3. Jaffe, William, 1975. "Leon Walras, an Economic Adviser Manque," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 85(340), pages 810-23, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2007. "Institutional Infrastructure to Support 'Super Growth' in Kenya: Governance Thresholds, Reversion Rates and Economic Development," Working papers, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics 2007-32, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.


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