Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector by Kurt Weyland

By Kurt Weyland

Why do very diversified nations usually emulate a similar coverage version? years after Ronald Reagan's income-tax simplification of 1986, Brazil followed an analogous reform although it threatened to exacerbate source of revenue disparity and jeopardize kingdom sales. And Chile's pension privatization of the early Eighties has unfold all through Latin the US and past even if many terrible international locations that experience privatized their social defense platforms, together with Bolivia and El Salvador, lack a number of the preconditions essential to accomplish that successfully.

In an important step past traditional rational-choice debts of coverage decision-making, this e-book demonstrates that bounded--not full--rationality drives the unfold of options throughout international locations. whilst looking recommendations to family difficulties, decision-makers frequently think about international types, occasionally promoted through improvement associations just like the international financial institution. yet, as Kurt Weyland argues, policymakers observe inferential shortcuts on the probability of distortions and biases. via an in-depth research of pension and wellbeing and fitness reform in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Peru, Weyland demonstrates that decision-makers are captivated by way of neat, daring, cognitively on hand types. And instead of completely assessing the prices and merits of exterior types, they draw excessively enterprise conclusions from constrained info and overextrapolate from spurts of luck or failure. symptoms of preliminary good fortune can therefore set off an upsurge of coverage diffusion.

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Extra resources for Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector Reform in Latin America

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Thus, the initially gradual, but then rapid spread of reforms that is captured in the S-shaped curve of cumulative frequencies is observable in health care. Neighborhood effects have also been significant. For instance, Chile’s partial health privatization had an impact primarily on other Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Similarly, Colombia’s health reform affected its neighbor Peru, which also learned from Bolivian innovations. Thus, geographical proximity stimulates emulation efforts in health care.

Countries may imitate the specific institutional way in which a frontrunner enacted a new principle. 18 • Chapter 1 spread to large numbers of countries, the resulting pattern of change is not as profound and uniform as the contagion effect unleashed by a neat, clear policy model. While model diffusion constitutes the most striking form of innovations’ spread, has a particularly strong impact on the emulating countries, and therefore attracts disproportionate attention from scholars (Strang and Soule 1998: 285; Meseguer and Gilardi 2005: 4, 17, 22– 23), principle diffusion is probably more common because the complexity of many issue areas prevents a singular, neat, well-integrated policy model from emerging.

For instance, the global community has enjoined states to guarantee ever more social rights for their citizens, thus 34 • Chapter 2 redefining what development means. As states adopt this new goal definition to conform to international expectations, they upgrade their own preferences and change their behavior accordingly. In this way, the spread of new international norms soon brings forth a wave of policy innovations. Where international society has a clear “opinion leader” that sets the norms for advanced, modern behavior and appropriate state action, this constructivist argument paints a picture of central promotion that has some similarities to the external pressure framework: A prominent actor induces the spread of innovations to a wide range of backward countries.

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