Framing and Experimentation in Economic Policy: The Case of the New Deal Agricultural Regulation

  •  Ivan D. Trofimov    


The problems of sub-optimality and instability of the policy regime (agricultural policy regime in the USA in the 1920-1940s as a specific case) as well as the uneasy relationship between practical policy making and economic theory are examined from framing and experimentation perspectives. It is shown that policy formulation is an open-ended process (that eventuates in a unique configuration of mechanisms and underlying institutions), guided by political acceptability and social appropriateness logics, with stable policy outcomes critically dependent on the presence of the consensually held policy frames. Regarding optimality problem, a less restrictive procedural criterion to evaluate policies is advanced.

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