Hi Jia, I don't know much about policy diffusion, unfortunately. From the brief reading I have done, both seem to occur. Learning from other governments appears to be important; according to some researchers, exchange via membership in international organisations is a central causal factor. "Intentional" governments could make active engagement in these a higher priority.
Thanks for this Tyler!
The references are great, I wasn't aware of them. Re the first, how exactly do you think low institutional path-dependence and institutional innovativeness interact? They seem like related but distinct concepts to me.
I agree that it would be great to see more research on those questions, though I wonder if a thorough review of the policy diffusion literature might be sufficient. I definitely would like a clearer characterization of governmental innovativeness; I felt kind of hand-wavey in this post.
When to use quantitative vs qualitative research
Without a framework for thinking about this, I'm often unsure what I should be learning from qualitative studies, and I don't always know when it makes sense to conduct them. (This seems related to the debate between cleometricians and counterfactual narrative historians; some discussion here, page 18)
I doubt that there is any one answer re the marginal value of such projects, because the value depends on what is being governed. For instance, I think a successful implementation of regulatory markets for AI safety would be very valuable, but regulatory markets for corporate law wouldn't be; yet the same basic framework is being implemented.
For this reason, I'd be more interested in analysis of governance innovation for a particular cause area.
I think that’s mostly right, with a couple of caveats:
This seems true. It also suggests that if you can be extremely high on both traits, you’ll bring significant counterfactual value.