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Towards a Theory of Policy Making

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  • Mittenzwei, Klaus
  • Bullock, David S.
  • Salhofer, Klaus
  • Kola, Jukka

Abstract

The paper presents a theory of policy timing that relies on uncertainty and transaction costs to explain the optimal timing and length of policy reforms. Delaying reforms resolves some uncertainty by gaining valuable information and saves transaction costs. Implementing reforms without waiting increases welfare by adjusting domestic policies to changed market parameters. Optimal policy timing is found by balancing the trade-off between delaying reforms and implementing reforms without waiting. Our theory offers an explanation of why countries differ with respect to the length of their policy reforms, and why applied studies often judge agricultural policies to be inefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Mittenzwei, Klaus & Bullock, David S. & Salhofer, Klaus & Kola, Jukka, 2011. "Towards a Theory of Policy Making," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114639, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:114639
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/114639
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Heikkinen, T. & Pietola, K., 2009. "Investment and the dynamic cost of income uncertainty: The case of diminishing expectations in agriculture," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 634-646, January.
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    5. Kenneth J. Arrow & Anthony C. Fisher, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-319.
    6. Carsten Daugbjerg, 1999. "Reforming the CAP: Policy Networks and Broader Institutional Structures," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 407-428, September.
    7. Guyomard, Herve & Baudry, Marc & Carpentier, Alain, 1996. "Estimating Crop Supply Response in the Presence of Farm Programmes: Application to the CAP," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 401-420.
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    11. Reyer Gerlagh & Snorre Kverndokk & Knut Rosendahl, 2009. "Optimal Timing of Climate Change Policy: Interaction Between Carbon Taxes and Innovation Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 369-390.
    12. Bullock, David S, 1995. "Are Government Transfers Efficient? An Alternative Test of the Efficient Redistribution Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1236-1274, December.
    13. David S. Bullock & Klaus Salhofer & Jukka Kola, 1999. "The Normative Analysis of Agricultural Policy: A General Framework and Review," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 512-535.
    14. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Keywords

    Policy analysis; Uncertainty; Dynamic model; Transaction costs; Agricultural and Food Policy;

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