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The mobility of economists and the diffusion of policy ideas: The influence of economics on national policies

  • Kogut, Bruce
  • Macpherson, J. Muir
Registered author(s):

    Economic policies are innovations that have important effects on countries and their social welfare. Far from being simply technical in nature, such policies are often ideological innovations. This paper examines three economic policy innovations (privatization, central bank independence, and pension reform) and shows how the diffusion of these policies depended not only upon the mobility of American-trained Ph.D. economists to adopting countries, but also the state of agreement among economists on the value of these policy innovations. By estimating hazard models for adoption times, the effects of mobility and policy agreement are shown to explain the adoption patterns. The implications of this analysis are to treat the creation and diffusion of economic policies as innovations that are subject to trial and error revision as well as to the changing consensus within an academic community.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1307-1320

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:10:p:1307-1320
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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