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Disagreement and Learning About Reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Binswanger, J.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Oechslin, M.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

Abstract

Abstract: When it comes to economic reforms in developing countries, many economists agree on broad objectives (such as fostering outward orientation). Broad objectives, however, can be pursued in many di¤erent ways, and policy experimentation is often indispensable for learning which alternative works locally. We propose a simple model to study this societal learning process. The model explores the role of disagreeing beliefs about “what works”. It suggests that this type of disagreement can stall the societal learning process and cause economic stagnation. Interestingly, this can happen even if everybody knows that Pareto-improving reforms do exist. Our analysis is motivated by the empirical observation of a negative relationship between disagreement and economic growth among poorer countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Binswanger, J. & Oechslin, M., 2014. "Disagreement and Learning About Reforms," Discussion Paper 2014-020, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:bb4785e9-74c3-46ff-bdab-d3a3a5687396
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Disagreement; experimentation; societal learning; development policy; gridlock;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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