Medium Problem Pressure and Policy Learning: A Comparative Analysis of European Countries

24 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2016

See all articles by Philipp Trein

Philipp Trein

University of Lausanne, IEPHI

Date Written: June 14, 2016

Abstract

This paper analyzes under which conditions substantiated, i.e. hard fact based, knowledge contributes to reforming social policies. The article argues that hard fact based policy knowledge is most likely to enter reforms against the background of a medium problem pressure. In case a policy challenge entails high problem pressure that necessitates immediate action, or if the problem pressure is very low, policymakers are most likely to pursue politically motivated solutions or to use knowledge politically. Only if the problem requires no immediate action and is severe enough to take policy advice into account, there will be sufficient time for a hard fact based learning process that precedes actual reform decisions. A comparative analysis of social policy reforms with different degrees of problem pressure in Belgium, Greece, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK illustrates this argument empirically.

Keywords: Policy Learning, Political Learning, Europe, social Policy, Labor Market Policy, Problem Pressure

JEL Classification: E62, J38

Suggested Citation

Trein, Philipp, Medium Problem Pressure and Policy Learning: A Comparative Analysis of European Countries (June 14, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2795557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2795557

Philipp Trein (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne, IEPHI ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

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