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Competitive Learning in Yardstick Competition: Testing Models of Policy Diffusion With Performance Data

Ward, Hugh and John, Peter (2013) 'Competitive Learning in Yardstick Competition: Testing Models of Policy Diffusion With Performance Data.' Political Science Research and Methods, 1 (1). 3 - 25. ISSN 2049-8470

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Abstract

<jats:p>Organizations that learn from others’ successful policies not only become more competitive because their policies improve but also avoid the costs of policy innovation. While economists have widely recognized latecomer advantage, the policy diffusion literature in political science has failed to emphasize the connection between learning and competition. This article distinguishes competitive learning from learning that is not driven by competitive pressure (that is, ‘pure learning’). It models policy diffusion as a game played on social networks that govern competitive pressure and the possibilities of information transfer. The article develops an empirical test for competitive learning using spatial lags, which are applied to data on the performance of larger English local authorities from 2002 to 2006. Evidence is found for both competitive learning and pure learning. The sharper distinction between causal mechanisms proposed in this article should be widely applicable to diffusion across international boundaries and sub-national units.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Carla Xena Galindo
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2013 19:50
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7957

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