The punctuated equilibrium theory suggests that policy responses will oscillate between periods of underreaction to the flow of information coming from the environment into the system and overreaction to it due to disproportionate information processing (Jones and Baumgartner 2005). The aim of this workshop is to take this promising research agenda further by focusing on the dynamics of overreaction and underreaction in enacting policy solutions, and on the varieties of policy over- and underreaction. The workshop also revolves around the life-cycles of longer-term over- and undereaction which are propelled by self-reinforcing processes, as well as around the analytical reach of concepts which aim at capturing these phenomena, namely, policy bubbles and policy anti-bubbles.
We are seeking both conceptual and empirical papers that revolve around the following questions:
• To what extent are cost-benefit analyses, subjective evaluations, analysis of indicators of policy problems and investment level by government, and comparison of countries’ policies with recommendations for standards by expert committees, able to capture the extent of non-proportionate policy response?
• How do cognitive, emotional, organizational, and institutional factors interact to explain non-proportionate policy responses?
• How does the state of emotion towards a particular policy change over time, and what is the extent to which such changes impact upon the supply of the policy?
• What is the role of the media in the emergence of non-proportionate policy responses?
• What are the differences between processes of ideational and emotional contagion that generate non-proportionate policy response and those that do not?
• Could non-proportionate policy responses be policy successes?
• What are the significant normative dimensions of policy over- and underreaction?
• What are the relations between policy overreaction and underreaction?
• How do members of the public make judgments about non-proportionate policy responses?
• To what extent do policymakers learn from non-proportionate policy response?
• What are the consequences of non-proportionate policy responses in terms of policy outcomes and the penalty imposed on policymakers by the general public?
• Why do some policy bubbles and anti-bubbles deflate on their own while others continue to grow?
• Are there specific measures that governments could take to respond to policy bubbles and anti-bubbles and to restrict their potential damage?