The process whereby knowledge, policies, or administrative arrangements shift from one nation or policy domain to another. It is usually thought to be an intentional ‘learning’ process, rather than an unintentional ‘evolutionary’ one where governments facing the same problems discover the same trick. It is also thought to be voluntary though it can be coercive. National governments can compel different sectors or lower levels of government to follow others' practices. Policy transfer is thought to lead to policy convergence and to be part of globalization. Where governments buy services from the same multinational corporations, pressures from the corporations may also lead to convergence and policy transfer. Because policy transfer is largely about learning, modes of information acquisition is an important aspect of the idea and transfer is supposed to occur more now than in the past due to faster more efficient global communication. Largely descriptive and atheoretical, the policy transfer literature has not yet come to grips with the transfer of bad ideas or explained why transplanted ideas are often sub‐optimally changed during the transfer process.