Public Choice: Change Incentives, Not Minds!

Source: A Thousand Nations (Nov 2010)

We do not live in a world that mainly suffers bad policies due to lack of ideas about better ones, or lack of elegant explanations supporting good policies, but one that suffers bad policies due to system and meta-system level incentives. In the real world, if you want to have any chance at any effect on changing bad policies, you must take this into account, frustrating and difficult though it is.

In the comments section:

Anyway, I think you need to draw a distinction between changing minds to change policy (Boudreaux-style) and changing minds to change systems (Patri-style).

Source: A Thousand Nations, May 2010

Public choice is about incentives, education does not change those incentives, and we are not going to get better government unless we get better incentives.

In the comments section:

But we all need a coherent theory of exactly when, where, and how education/persuasion is likely to be effective and when it is not likely to be effective, and your analogies here are compelling examples of ways in which education/persuasion is not likely to succeed.


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