Medium Problem Pressure and Policy Learning: A Comparative Analysis of European Countries
24 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 14, 2016
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: Suggested Citation