Dissonance in Policy Processes: An Introduction

  • Louis M. Imbeau
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 15)


Policy dissonance – defined as a discrepancy or lack of harmony between what policy makers say or publish and what they do in terms of finance, regulation, administration, or coercion – is the object of four different political economic literatures: forecasting errors, time inconsistency, electoral pledges, and the partisan cycle hypothesis. This introduction reviews these four literatures. It then proposes two conceptual approaches to the inclusion of speech in political economic explanations – speech as the expression of preferences and speech as a policy tool – to raise the issue of rationality and bounded rationality, the issue of the function of policy speech – information, persuasion, or manipulation – as well as the issue of the tradeoffs between the democratic demand for transparency and the efficiency requirement of secrecy. The introduction concludes with the description of the contribution of each chapter to the understanding of dissonance in policy processes.


Forecast Error Fiscal Policy Policy Process Budget Balance Time Inconsistency 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de science politiqueUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

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