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Learning from Decentralised Policy: The Demand Side

  • Jan Schnellenbach

    ()

    (Department for Public Economics, Marburg University)

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.This paper looks at competition in the telecommunication industry.

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Paper provided by JEPS in its series JEPS Working Papers with number 05-001.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jep:wpaper:05001
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  1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
  3. Hirschman, Albert O, 1989. "Having Opinions--One of the Elements of Well-Being?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 75-79, May.
  4. Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
  5. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  6. Viktor Vanberg & Wolfgang Kerber, 1994. "Institutional competition among jurisdictions: An evolutionary approach," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 193-219, March.
  7. Wolfgang Kerber & Nicole J. Saam, 2001. "Competition As a Test of Hypotheses: Simulation of Knowledge-Generating Market Processes," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(3), pages 2.
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