IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jcecon/v40y2012i1p62-77.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Think tanks

Author

Listed:
  • Leeson, Peter T.
  • Ryan, Matt E.
  • Williamson, Claudia R.

Abstract

This paper is the first to investigate the relationship between think tanks and economic policy empirically. We use panel data for the US states to examine state-based, free market (SBFM) think tanks’ relationship to eight key economic policy objectives. We find little evidence that SBFM think tanks are associated with more “pro-market” policies along the policy dimensions they aim to influence. However, we find stronger evidence that SBFM think tanks are associated with more “pro-market” citizen attitudes about the role of government vs. markets in economic policy. These results suggest that if think tanks’ connection to economic policy is important at all, its importance may be long term and operate via the channel of “ideas.” In contrast to think tanks, we find evidence that political lobby groups are associated with current policy. This may reflect the fact that, unlike think tanks, lobby groups are legally permitted to lobby for policy changes directly. Thus they don’t need to engage in a long-run “battle of ideas” to secure desired policy outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Leeson, Peter T. & Ryan, Matt E. & Williamson, Claudia R., 2012. "Think tanks," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 62-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:62-77
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2011.07.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0147596711000412
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    3. Sobel, Russell S., 2008. "Testing Baumol: Institutional quality and the productivity of entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 641-655, November.
    4. repec:cto:journl:v:24:y:2004:i:3:p: is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stroup, Michael D., 2007. "Economic Freedom, Democracy, and the Quality of Life," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 52-66, January.
    6. James D . Gwartney & Randall G . Holcombe & Robert A . Lawson, 2006. "Institutions and the Impact of Investment on Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 255-273, May.
    7. Stroup, Michael D., 2008. "Separating the influence of capitalism and democracy on women's well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 560-572, September.
    8. James D. Gwartney & Robert A. Lawson & Randall G. Holcombe, 1999. "Economic Freedom and the Environment for Economic Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 643-643, December.
    9. Michael Hoffman, 2009. "What explains attitudes across US trade policies?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 447-460, March.
    10. Nathan Ashby & Russell Sobel, 2008. "Income inequality and economic freedom in the U.S. states," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 329-346, March.
    11. James Gwartney & Robert Lawson, 2003. "What have we learned from the measurement of economic freedom?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Oct, pages 217-238.
    12. James D. Gwartney & Randall G. Holcombe & Robert A. Lawson, 2004. "Economic Freedom, Institutional Quality,and Cross-Country Differences in Income and Growth," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 24(3), pages 205-233, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:jpe:journl:1416 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Joshua C. Hall & Dean Stansel & Danko Tarabar, 2015. "Economic Freedom Studies at the State Level: A Survey," Working Papers 15-07, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    3. Jesper Dahl Kelstrup, 2017. "Quantitative differences in think tank dissemination activities in Germany, Denmark and the UK," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 50(1), pages 125-137, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Think tanks; Economic policy; Institutions; Ideology; Interest groups;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:40:y:2012:i:1:p:62-77. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.