By Kurt Weyland
Why do very diversified nations frequently emulate an analogous coverage version? years after Ronald Reagan's income-tax simplification of 1986, Brazil followed an identical reform although it threatened to exacerbate source of revenue disparity and jeopardize nation sales. And Chile's pension privatization of the early Eighties has unfold all through Latin the US and past even supposing many negative nations that experience privatized their social defense structures, together with Bolivia and El Salvador, lack a number of the preconditions essential to achieve this successfully.
In a big step past traditional rational-choice bills of coverage decision-making, this booklet demonstrates that bounded--not full--rationality drives the unfold of options throughout nations. whilst looking ideas to family difficulties, decision-makers frequently contemplate overseas versions, occasionally promoted by means of improvement associations just like the international financial institution. yet, as Kurt Weyland argues, policymakers observe inferential shortcuts on the hazard 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 to be had types. And instead of completely assessing the prices and merits of exterior types, they draw excessively company conclusions from restricted facts and overextrapolate from spurts of luck or failure. symptoms of preliminary good fortune can hence set off an upsurge of coverage diffusion.
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Additional info for Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector Reform in Latin America
First, diffusion tends to occur in waves. It usually starts slowly as a few countries or states try out a new model; then it picks up steam as large numbers of nations or states jump on the bandwagon; and ﬁnally it levels off as most countries or states have already adopted the change or as the reform wave hits an insurmountable barrier. As a result of this wavelike pattern, the cumulative frequency of reform adoption over time follows an S-shaped curve (Rogers 1995: 11, 22–23; Li and Thompson 1975: 65; Berry 1994: 443; Strang and Soule 1998: 283; Lazer 1999: The Puzzle of Policy Diffusion • 19 466–67, 473; Kogut and Macpherson 2003: 19, 32; Levi-Faur 2005: 18; Orenstein 2003: 179–80; Brooks 2005: 275).
Advocates of social security privatization like the World Bank did not reshape policymakers’ interests by emphasizing new goals but merely highlighted new means for pursuing old goals. Chapter 4 probes the crucial issue of comprehensive vs. bounded rationality. Extensive ﬁeld research shows that decision-makers in Bolivia, El Salvador, and Peru did not actively search for the relevant information and process it in a systematic, balanced fashion. Instead, they relied on cognitive shortcuts. Following the availability heuristic, they paid disproportionate attention to the Chilean model and neglected other valuable sources of information.
To comply with higher standards of proper behavior, decision-makers redeﬁne their own goals and modify policy programs accordingly. In this view, interests are constructed and cannot simply be taken as given; their deﬁnition is profoundly inﬂuenced by normative concerns. When international society raises its standards, governments feel compelled by moral suasion to adopt these new norms. 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.
Bounded Rationality and Policy Diffusion: Social Sector Reform in Latin America by Kurt Weyland