This December marks the first anniversary of my AIER book, Pathways to Policy Failure. It contains a great deal of insight into public policy, but came out too late to influence anyone’s New Year’s resolutions for 2021. So it might be worth revisiting with an eye to resolutions for 2022, after a string of notable public policy failures this past year.
To that end, for those who might be interested in what sorts of areas the book offers insights into, the following is adapted from my introduction.
Many years ago, Paul Heyne wrote that “Too many people ‘know’ how to solve pressing social problems…But we still underestimate the difficulties in bringing about planned social changes.” Consequently, “‘It won’t work out that way’ is the economist’s standard response to many well-intentioned policy proposals.”
That insight raises a very important…