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Ideologies, Beliefs, and Economic Advice - A Cognitive- Evolutionary View on Economic Policy-Making

Listed author(s):
  • Tilman Slembeck

    (University of St.Gallen)

Economists often perceive the “ideological beliefs“ held by political actors as obstacles to rational policy-making. In contrast, it is argued that ideologies have characteristics that appear desirable in policy- making in that they allow political actors to credibly commit themselves to certain policies, thereby fostering rule-based behavior and predictability. Understanding the roles of ideologies and economic beliefs in the political process also enables economists to be more effective in giving economic policy advice. The roles of beliefs, ideologies, and economists as policy advisers are discussed in a cognitive-evolutionary framework of the political process, and a new research agenda is proposed. Finally, several problems and shortcomings of policy proposals are discussed with regard to the two different worlds that policy-makers and economists live in.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0004005.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 05 Jul 2000
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0004005
Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 33 ; figures: included. Discussion Paper No. 2000- 12, Department of Economics, University of St.Gallen, June 2000, downloads at
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