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Learning, Policy Making, and Market Reforms

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  • Author: Covadonga Meseguer, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City
  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511512827

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  • In the 1980s and 1990s, market reforms swept the world. It is widely believed that the reformist wave can be partly explained in terms of the lessons learned from policy failures of the past. Whereas this interpretation of events is well established, it has never been empirically proved. Learning and Market Reforms is the first study that tests the impact of policy learning on economic policy choices across time and space. The study supports the popular explanation that on average, governments around the world adopted privatization and trade liberalization, and sustained open capital accounts, as a result of learning from the experience of others.

    • First cross national, cross temporal, and cross policy study that tests the mechanism of policy learning empirically
    • Deals with two major topics in contemporary political science: the role of rationality in policy making and the political economy of market reforms
    • Sets the path for further studies on learning about other policy choices and about learning from different policy outcomes, including political ones
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Learning, Policy Making, and Market Reforms is a benchmark study of the influence of ideas on policy changes. Why do politicians undertake risky economic reforms? In times of hardship and uncertainty, do they simply emulate what other governments do? Are they influenced by the nature of the regime, the ideology of the governments, the proximity of elections, the social and political costs of reforms? Or are politicians rational learners, searching for information, either from their own past or from other countries, about which policies work, accordingly updating their initial beliefs? The book tests a theoretically sophisticated model of learning with massive quantitative evidence on the changes in the strategies of economic development, programs of privatization, IMF agreements, and liberalization of capital accounts that took place in the 1980s and 1990s, in both developing and developed countries. The result is an exceptionally insightful analysis that will be an essential reference for students of political economy and comparative politics.”
    – Jose Maria Maravall, Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (CEACS), Fundación Juan March, Spain

    “This book makes a major contribution to the growing literature on policy diffusion. Why do governments seem to follow one another in adopting similar economic policies? Existing explanations include emulation, imposition by international forces, and similar domestic political and economic circumstances. What makes Meseguer’s study important and original is its careful work on rational learning as a mechanism of policy diffusion. Beautifully written and methodologically sophisticated, the book first develops a theory of learning and then shows empirically that rational learning influences the policy decisions of governments. The volume is essential reading for people interested in international relations and economic development.”
    – James Vreeland, Georgetown University

    “In this excellent contribution to the burgeoning literature on policy diffusion, Covadonga Meseguer demonstrates through a sophisticated theoretical analysis and rigorous empirical tests that countries learn from foreign policy success; thus, globalization brings the spread of proven solutions, not just fads and fashions.”
    – Kurt G. Weyland, University of Texas at Austin

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511512827
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 32 tables
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. The question
    2. The model
    3. Learning and development strategies
    4. Learning and privatization
    5. Learning and capital account openness
    6. Learning and IMF agreements
    7. Lessons about learning.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Political Economy of Development
  • Author

    Covadonga Meseguer, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City
    Covadonga Meseguer has a PhD in political science and is a member of the Juan March Institute for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (Madrid, Spain). She has been a Fulbright Fellow at New York University, a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, a Visiting Fellow at the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and a Visiting Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Dr Meseguer has written on globalization, the internationalization of policies, and Latin American political economy. Her work has been published in the Review of International Political Economy, the Journal of Public Policy, Rationality and Society, the European Journal of Political Economy, and others. Dr Meseguer is currently a researcher at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), Mexico City, and Visiting Professor at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies (IBEI), Barcelona.

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