Many economists are concerned with communicating the results of economic analysis or the implications of economic theory to policy makers. Our effectiveness in doing this varies widely for different individuals and different issues. The present paper is an attempt to provide practical advice to enhance this effectiveness. It considers policy adoption in the light of published literature about the adoption of innovations by small business managers. A small survey of policy makers and policy advisors was conducted, providing a number of practical tips and insights.
I am grateful to each of the survey respondents, particularly to Phil Connolly (NSW Treasury) who made me aware of Owen Harries’ article, and Neil Byron (Productivity Commission) for sharing his unpublished conference presentation with me. Thanks also to Deborah Peterson for comments on a draft, to Bill Malcolm for the stimulus to prepare the present paper, and to three reviewers for their constructive advice.
David Pannell is Professor in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics and a Program Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre for Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity, University of Western Australia, Albany, Western Australia.