Towards a theory of policy timing

Klaus Mittenzwei, David S. Bullock, Klaus Salhofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article presents a theory of policy timing that relies on uncertainty and transaction costs to explain the optimal timing and duration of policy reforms. Delaying reforms resolves some uncertainty by gaining valuable information and saves transaction costs. Implementing reforms without waiting increases welfare by adjusting domestic policies to changed market parameters. Optimal policy timing is found by balancing the trade-off between delaying reforms and implementing reforms without waiting. Our theory offers an explanation of why countries differ with respect to the length of their policy reforms and why applied studies often judge agricultural policies to be inefficient when actually they may not be.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-596
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Agriculture
  • Dynamic model
  • Policy analysis
  • Transaction costs
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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