Policy Analysis and Economics

Policy Analysis and Economics : Developments, Tensions, Prospects

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Description

Long before policy analysis emerged as a separate profession with its own graduate schools, economists offered advice about government policies. Positive economics provides the tools for predicting the impacts of prop- osed policies; normative economics, especially welfare theory, offers a framework for valuing the impacts of policies in terms of efficiency and simple notions of equity. With the expansion of economic theory into ever wider fields of human behavior, it is no wonder that economists have prominence as teachers and practitioners of policy analysis. Indeed, many economists see policy analysis as essentially applied economics. Though other social scientists might object to this somewhat parochial view, economics and policy analysis share much in commom in terms of develop- ment and prospects. The purpose of this volume is to trace these interrela- tionships and explore the tensions that they create. Tensions arise for several reasons. Changes in the discipline of econ- omics affect the findings, methods, and personnel offered to policy analy- sis. For example, on the one hand, the "new institutional economics" appears to be extending the influence of economists to questions involving nonmarket oranizations, while on the other hand, the apparently growing emphasis within the economics profession on creating rather than empir- ically testing theory suggests that fewer of the best young scholars will be drawn to policy-relevant research. Within the schools of policy analysis, the drift toward public management may reduce the demand for traditional economic training.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 213 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.53mm | 1,140g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1991 ed.
  • XIX, 213 p.
  • 0792391543
  • 9780792391548

Table of contents

Contributing Authors.- Preface.- 1 Economists as Policy Analysts: Historical Overview.- 2 Continuing Controversies in Policy Analysis.- 3 Beyond Efficiency: Economics and Distributional Analysis.- 4 Beyond Self-Interest.- 5 Economic Theories of Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Implications for Policy Analysis.- 6 The New Institutional Economics: Implications for Policy Analysis.- 7 Macroeconomics and Macroeconomists as Instruments of Policy.- 8 The New Trade Theory: Implications for Policy Analysis.- 9 Policy Research: A Withering Branch of Economics?.
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