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Let's walk before we can run: the uncertain demand from policymakers for trials

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2020

PETER JOHN
Affiliation:
Department of Political Economy, King's College London, London, UK
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Abstract

Al-Ubaydli et al. set out a valuable prospectus, but they operate with too simple a view of the policymaking process. Politicians and bureaucrats have additional objectives to that of maximizing human welfare: the former wish to endorse policies that get them re-elected; the latter need to manage complex bureaucracies and advance their careers. Both need to be persuaded that trials are in their long-term interests to adopt. Because Al-Ubaydli et al.'s proposals may increase the costs of doing trials, the demand for robust evidence might reduce rather than increase.

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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