ISTPP Senior Fellow, Bryan D. Jones (photo, on right), Professor of the Department of Government and J. J. “Jake” Pickle Regents Chair in Congressional Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, delivered a keynote speech “Public Policy and Human Nature in an Increasingly Complex World” to the International Public Policy Association Conference in Hong Kong on June 10, 2016. The Conference is co-sponsored by the University of Hong Kong, University of California, and International Public Policy Association.
ISTPP Research Scientist and Assistant Director, Xinsheng Liu (photo, on left), presented a research paper “Bureaucratic Overconfidence and Policy Consequence,” co-authored with ISTPP Director Arnold Vedlitz and ISTPP Fellow James Stoutenborough, at the Conference in Hong Kong on June 11, 2016. In this project, the researchers explore whether experienced bureaucrats are overconfident in their expertise and how this overconfidence might influence their policy choices. They used data compiled from survey responses from local, state, and regional-national agency bureaucrats. The data analyses demonstrate (a) the level of issue-specific expertise perceived by individual bureaucrats is positively associated with their work experience; (b) more experienced bureaucrats tend to be more overconfident in assessing their expertise; and (c) overconfidence, independently of sociodemographic characteristics, attitudinal factors and political ideology, significantly correlates with bureaucrats’ risk-taking policy choices.