Policy Bubbles: Policy Overreaction and Positive Feedback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on insights from economics, psychology, sociology, political science, and policy sciences, this article proposes a definition and measurement strategies for policy bubbles. A policy bubble is a real and/or perceived policy overreaction that is reinforced by positive feedback over an extended period of time. Positive feedback is here integrated in a model of human herding as the key factor that propels this process but also as a key generator of change. The process is conceptualized in terms of the formation, growth, and burst of policy bubbles. This causal-explanatory understanding of the term allows for the possibility that different modes of policy overreaction lead to different types of human herding, thereby resulting in different types of policy bubbles.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)469-487
Number of pages19
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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