Rational ignorance is not bliss: When do lazy voters learn from decentralised policy experiments?
A popular argument about economic policy under uncertainty states that decentralisation offers the possibility to learn from local or regional policy experiments. We argue that such learning processes are not trivial and do not occur frictionlessly: Voters have an inherent tendency to retain a given stock of policy-related knowledge which was costly to accumulate, so that yardstick competition is improbable to function well particularly for complex issues if representatives’ actions are tightly controlled by the electorate. Decentralisation provides improved learning processes compared to unitary systems, but the results we can expect are far from the ideal mechanisms of producing and utilising knowledge often described in the literature.
|Date of creation:||May 2007|
|Date of revision:||May 2007|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49-6221-54 2905
Fax: +49-6221-54 2914
Web page: http://www.awi.uni-heidelberg.de/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999.
"Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions,"
4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1997. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," NBER Working Papers 6009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
- Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2005.
"Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2005-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2009. "Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 91-114, 02.
- Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2005. "Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons," CESifo Working Paper Series 1516, CESifo Group Munich.
- Thomas Doring & Jan Schnellenbach, 2006.
"What do we know about geographical knowledge spillovers and regional growth?: A survey of the literature,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 375-395.
- Döring, Thomas & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2004. "What Do We Know About Geographical Knowledge Spillovers and Regional Growth? A Survey of the Literature," Research Notes 14, Deutsche Bank Research.
- Leah Platt Boustan & Price V. Fishback & Shawn Kantor, 2010.
"The Effect of Internal Migration on Local Labor Markets:American Cities during the Great Depression,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 719-746, October.
- Leah Platt Boustan & Price V. Fishback & Shawn E. Kantor, 2007. "The Effect of Internal Migration on Local Labor Markets: American Cities During the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 13276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjorn, 2004. "The complex evolution of a simple traffic convention: the functions and implications of habit," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 19-47, May.
- Salmon, Pierre, 1987.
"Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme,"
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
- SALMON, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralization as an incentive scheme," Institut des Mathématiques Economiques – Document de travail de l’I.M.E. (1974-1993) 98, Institut des Mathématiques Economiques. LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
- Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
- Jan Schnellenbach, 2004. "Model uncertainty and the rationality of economic policy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 101-116, January.
- Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
- Schnellenbach, Jan, 2007. "Public entrepreneurship and the economics of reform," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 183-202, August.
- Hodgson, Geoffrey M, 1997. "The Ubiquity of Habits and Rules," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(6), pages 663-84, November.
- Federico Revelli, 2002. "Testing the taxmimicking versus expenditure spill-over hypotheses using English data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1723-1731.
- Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 2000. "Decentralization and the Search for Policy Solutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 102-28, April.
- Viktor Vanberg & Wolfgang Kerber, 1994. "Institutional competition among jurisdictions: An evolutionary approach," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 193-219, March.
- Kirman, Alan, 1993. "Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 137-56, February.
- Dani Rodrik, 1996. "Understanding Economic Policy Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 9-41, March.
- Brian Arthur, W. & Ermoliev, Yu. M. & Kaniovski, Yu. M., 1987. "Path-dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-303, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0441. 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: (Gabi Rauscher)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.