2019

Busy Doing Nothing: Why Politicians Implement Inefficient Policies

Särtryck nr 2019:63

Författare: Anders GustafssonÅr: 2019 Publikation: Constitutional Political Economy Årgång (nr): 30 (3) Sidor: 282–299
Artikeln online (behörighet kan krävas)

Busy Doing Nothing: Why Politicians Implement Inefficient Policies Anders Gustafsson


A substantial body of literature suggests that politicians are blocked from implementing efficient reforms that solve substantial problems because of special interest groups or budget constraints. Despite the existing mechanisms that block potentially efficient reforms, real-world data show that a large number of new programs and policies are implemented every year in developed countries. These policies are often selective and considered to be fairly inefficient by ex post evaluation, and they tend to be small in size and scope. With this background, this paper studies the reasons why a rational politician would implement an inefficient public policy that is intended to obfuscate the difficulties in achieving reforms. The paper uses a simple competence signaling model that suggests that if an effective reform is impossible, engaging in strategic obfuscation through an inefficient program increases the probability of winning a re-election compared to doing nothing at all. This is because an inefficient reform does not lead voters to believe that the politician is incompetent, which a lack of action risks doing. Intentional inefficiency aiming to obfuscate the difficulty of efficient reforms can therefore complement the previous theories’ explanations of political failure.


Referens:
Gustafsson, Anders (2019), "Busy Doing Nothing: Why Politicians Implement Inefficient Policies". Constitutional Political Economy 30(3), 282–299.

Aktuell forskare

Malin Gardberg Ph.D.

Ämnesområden: Arbetsmarknad, ekonometri, finansiell utveckling, globalisering, internationella investeringar, konsumtion, makroekonomi, utvecklingsekonomi.

Några av de frågor Malin Gardberg försöker besvara i sin forskning:

 

  • Hur har det svenska näringslivet och den svenska arbetsmarknaden påverkats av den pågående digitaliseringen?
  • Hur påverkar olika typer av utländskt skuldkapital landets valutakurs? Leder extern skuldfinansiering till att landets valutakurs är känsligare för finansmarknadsturbulens än extern aktiefinansiering? 
  • Leder finansiell integrering och en jämnare inkomstfördelning till mera internationell riskdelning i utvecklingsländer?
  • Hur har finansiell integrering påverkat sambandet mellan konsumtion och förmögenhet

 

 

 

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