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Reforms and Confidence

We examine the choice of economic reforms when policymakers have present-biased preferences and can choose to discard information (maintain confidence) to mitigate distortions from excess discounting. The decisions of policymakers and firms are shown to be interdependent. Confident policymakers carry out welfare-improving reforms more often, which increases the probability that firms will invest in restructuring. While policymakers in different countries can be equally irrational, the consequences of bounded rationality are less severe in economies with beneficial initial conditions. We also examine how present-biased preferences influence the choice between big bang versus gradualist reform strategies. Our findings help explain differences in economic reform success in various countries.

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File URL: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/tutkimus/tutkimusjulkaisut/dp/Documents/dp0105.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition in its series BOFIT Discussion Papers with number 1/2005.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Development Economics.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofitp:2005_001
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Bank of Finland, BOFIT, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland

Phone: + 358 10 831 2268
Fax: + 358 10 831 2294
Web page: http://www.suomenpankki.fi/bofit_en/
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  12. Bruno Merlevede & Koen Schoors & Bas van Aarle, 2004. "Russia from Bust to Boom: Oil, Politics or the Ruble?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-722, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  16. Sheshinski, Eytan, 2000. "Optimal Policy to Influence Individual Choice Probabilities," MPRA Paper 55490, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2002.
  17. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
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  19. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
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