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Probabilistic Political Viability: A Methodology for Predictive Political Economy

  • Susan Stratton Sayre


    (Department of Economics, Smith College)

  • Rachel Goodhue
  • Leo Simon
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    Currently available political economic tools are not very useful for predicting the outcomes of real-world policy problems. Researchers have limited information on which to assign parameters to the mappings from policies to outcomes to utilities or to represent the political process adequately. We present a method for evaluating the viability of political alternatives in complex settings and apply it to an ongoing California water policy debate. Certain options would be "robustly politically viable" if stakeholder groups trusted that they would be implemented as negotiated. Once we incorporate institutional mistrust into the model, none of the alternatives are robustly politically viable.

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    Paper provided by Smith College, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-01.

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    Handle: RePEc:smt:wpaper:2012-01
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    1. Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2008. "Probability and Uncertainty in Economic Modeling," Post-Print hal-00463394, HAL.
    2. Ellen Hanak, 2007. "Envisioning Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta," PPIC Research Reports, Public Policy Institute of California, number deltaa, 08-2014.
    3. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
    4. Shaw, W. Douglass & Woodward, Richard T., 2008. "Why environmental and resource economists should care about non-expected utility models," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 66-89, January.
    5. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1980. "A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason," Munich Reprints in Economics 19914, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Richard T. Woodward & W. Douglass Shaw, 2008. "Allocating Resources in an Uncertain World: Water Management and Endangered Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 593-605.
    7. Robert J. Lempert & David G. Groves & Steven W. Popper & Steve C. Bankes, 2006. "A General, Analytic Method for Generating Robust Strategies and Narrative Scenarios," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 514-528, April.
    8. Jay Lund & Ellen Hanak & William Fleenor & William Bennett & Richard Howitt & Jeffrey Mount & Peter Moyle, 2008. "Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta," PPIC Research Reports, Public Policy Institute of California, number deltab, 08-2014.
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