Matisoff Co-Authors Article on Why Covid-19 Policies Change

Daniel Matisoff

Posted June 14, 2022

Daniel Matisoff, associate professor in the School of Public Policy, co-authored an article published in Review of Policy Research. The piece is titled “Contagious Covid-19 Policies: Policy Diffusion During Times of Crisis.”

In it, Matisoff and his co-authors discuss why it is that countries chose to implement different policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as why those policies changed. They found that the policies of a given country’s peers, as well as similarities of language drive policy changes.

“While the Covid-19 is an extreme case, it seems likely that all governments rely on emulation to assist with decision making in conditions when information is imperfect,” the authors write. “When faced with uncertainty about the political, economic, or scientific effects of a potential policy, relying on peers as a decision heuristic reduces the burden on political decision makers to make contentious decisions.”

Read the full article at

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