Take Action

Home | Faculty & Research Overview | Research

Research Details

Gridlock and Inefficient Policy Instruments, Theoretical Economics

Abstract

Why do rational politicians choose inefficient policy instruments? Environmental regulation, for example, often takes the form of technology standards and quotas even when cost-effective Pigou taxes are available. To shed light on this puzzle, we present a stochastic game with multiple legislative veto players and show that inefficient policy instruments are politically easier than efficient instruments to repeal. Anticipating this, heterogeneous legislators agree more readily on an inefficient policy instrument. We describe when inefficient instruments are likely to be chosen, and predict that they are used more frequently in (moderately) polarized political environments and in volatile economic environments. We show conditions under which players strictly benefit from the availability of the inefficient instrument.

Type

Article

Author(s)

David Austen-Smith, Wiola Dziuda, Bard Harstad, Antoine Loeper

Date Published

2019

Citations

Austen-Smith, David, Wiola Dziuda, Bard Harstad, and Antoine Loeper. 2019. Gridlock and Inefficient Policy Instruments. Theoretical Economics. 14(4): 1483-1534.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more

Take Action