We interpret the Open Method of Coordination (OMC), recently adopted by the EU as a mode of governance in the area of social policy and other fields, as an imitative learning dynamics of the type considered in evolutionary game theory. The best-practise feature and the iterative design of the OMC correspond to the behavioral rule "imitate the best." In a redistribution game with utilitarian governments and mobile welfare beneficiaries, we compare the outcomes of imitative behavior (long-run evolutionary equilibrium), decentralized best-response behavior (Nash equilibrium), and coordinated policies. The main result is that the OMC allows policy coordination on a strict subset of the set of Nash equilibria, favoring in particular coordination on intermediate values of the policy instrument.
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.