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Thread: The Curley Effect

  1. #1
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    The Curley Effect

    "It is generally thought in economics [that] [g]ood policies bring in resources and voters; bad ones keep them out. With the Curley effect, this result is reversed. When politicians seeking to stay in power use distortionary policies to force out their political opponents, [it] renders bad policies more, rather than less, attractive. The Curley effect, and more generally the economics of shaping the electorate, might thus shed light on a broad range of government policies that appear too bad to be true from alternative perspectives."
    Link to full PDF:

    Do you think this is a real thing? If so, how prevalent is it? What are the implications for public policy?

    I only just heard of it and some things make a lot more sense now. Good cities vs bad cities.
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  2. #2
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm sure its a real thing.

    Not to be snarky to the author of the paper, but you'd barely find an economist with any experience who wouldn't believe it.

    Indeed, with note of this particular line you quoted:

    It is generally thought in economics [that] [g]ood policies bring in resources and voters; bad ones keep them out.
    Its like "yeah nah bro". I don't know what "economics" the author is talking about. In my experience almost all experienced economists do not have that view in practice, and I have NEVER been in an economics class that teaches good public policies lead to particularly beneficial voting behaviours or outcomes. Very few economics classes or theory even deals with interactions of public voting and institutional systems and economic theory/the economy as such.

    Indeed, we observe policies are largely enacted against the advice of economics and economists advice, and economists view this as being due to a variety of reasons. I mean, in my own country, we have a whole range of public policy and economic decisions which economists have been railing agianst forever: stamp duty, negative gearing, capital gains tax discounts, lack of environmental externality taxes etc, etc, but economists believe they are kept due to being politically advantageous, short-termist, selfish, pandering to particular interest groups at the cost of others etc.

  3. #3
    malarkey oxyjen's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Interesting read. I'm still digesting a lot of it.

    It looks like this effect is primarily a redistribution policy between two very distinct ethnic groups, favoring the 'underdog' or the impoverished in the scenario at the cost of the dominant group.

    The dominant group, possessing greater resources and thus more mobility, move.

    I think it's interesting that all of their examples for economic data crunching in the US has to do with cities (as opposed to state or federal level). I sometimes think voters in the US are not rational actors when it comes to voting for their own financial self-interest.
    Last edited by oxyjen; 08-08-2018 at 01:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Yeah.. at the moment we have the Tories creating and maintaining a bunch of disastrous policies aimed at keeping the pensioners and landlords happy, whilst completely neglecting the youth (0-35) and other demographics.

    Has it got anything to do with the fact the Labour (the opposition) has the majority of the younger vote, whilst the Tories are still desperately trying to cling on to the Old, racist white vote, and the fact that most Tories are landlords making a killing off the extortionate housing market?

    Our current pensioner have had so much out the pot that my generation won't even have a pension.

    They are also privatising the NHS, and outsourcing it's services to private (Tory ran) companies, and telling us this is because the NHS is failing... But it's only failing because of the privatisation.
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

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