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Status Quo Deference and Policy Choice under Ambiguity

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  • Charles F. Manski

Abstract

Institutions for collective decision making often defer to the status quo, granting it a privileged position relative to proposed policy innovations. The possible benefits of status quo deference must be weighed against a cost: status quo deference can prevent a society from learning the merits of innovations. This paper explores the potential for learning through adaptive diversification of treatment choice in decision systems that feature status quo deference. I first review the basic elements of my earlier analysis of adaptive diversification by a planner and then extend the analysis to two collective decision processes, voting and bilateral negotiation.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles F. Manski, 2013. "Status Quo Deference and Policy Choice under Ambiguity," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(1), pages 116-128, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201303)169:1_116:sqdapc_2.0.tx_2-5
    DOI: 10.1628/093245613X660474
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bade, Sophie, 2011. "Electoral competition with uncertainty averse parties," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 12-29, May.
    2. Ellis, Andrew, 2016. "Condorcet meets Ellsberg," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(3), September.
    3. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    4. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-595, May.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:92:y:1998:i:02:p:413-418_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Paolo Ghirardato & Jonathan N. Katz, 2006. "Indecision Theory: Weight of Evidence and Voting Behavior," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(3), pages 379-399, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Hafer & Dimitri Landa, 2013. "Issue Advocacy and Mass Political Sophistication," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 169(1), pages 139-152, March.
    2. Epstein, Larry G. & Seo, Kyoungwon, 2015. "Exchangeable capacities, parameters and incomplete theories," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 879-917.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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