Policymakers need empirical research, and a lot of researchers aspire to influence public policy.
There is a sense, however, that the lines of communication between academia and the public policy sausage factory have become attenuated, due to increased partisanship and growing risk-aversion that has led governments to build ever-higher walls around departments and agencies, and post gatekeepers to tightly control the information that flows into ministerial offices.
There’s always a tendency to imagine things were better in the good old days, however. Perhaps the rise of evidence-based policy has perversely helped drive increasing partisanship, as particular segments of society feel their interests are being marginalised by heartless economists and uncaring technocrats, and political leaders forget the sweet art of persuasion.
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