Policy Outcomes  (5.5 page paper)

  1. Construct constitutive and operational definitions for any three (3) of the following actions and outcome variables:

Program expenditure Equality of educational opportunity
Personnel turnover National security
Health services Work incentives
Quality of life Pollution
Satisfaction with municipal services Energy consumption
Income distribution Rapport with clients

  1. Identify three (3) policy problems listed below and determine an appropriate indicator or index that would help determine whether each of the identified problems are being solved through government action. Justify your position on each.

Work alienation School dropouts
Crime Poverty
Energy crisis Fiscal crisis
Inflation Racial discrimination

  1. Construct valid rebuttals to the following argument using at least four (4) threats to validity: (B) The greater the cost of an alternative, the less likely it is that the alternative will be pursued. (W) The enforcement of the maximum speed limit of 55 mph increases the costs of exceeding the speed limit. (I) The mileage death rate fell from 4.3 to 3.6 deaths per 100 million miles after the implementation of the 55-mph speed limit. (C) The 55-mph speed limit (National Speed Law of 1973) has been definitely successful in saving lives.

  1. Include at least two (2) peer-reviewed references (no more than five [5] years old) from material outside the textbook to support your views

Examples: Threats to the plausibility/validity of claims about the benefits of the 55 mph speed limit.:

Invalidity. A policy prescription is based on an invalid assumption about the causal relation between a policy and its outcomes. For example, debates about the efficacy of the 55 mph speed limit (National Maximum Speed Law of 1973) have focused on the extent to which enforcing a maximum speed on all intercity highways is responsible for the observed decline in traffic fatalities after 1973. The claim that the new maximum speed (55 mph) was responsible for the decline of 9,800 fatalities between 1973 and 1975 has been challenged on grounds that the decline was due to the new compressed range or standard deviation of speeds; improvements in automobile and highway safety; the interaction of maximum speed with population density; and the effects of recession, unemployment, and declining gasoline prices on miles driven and, consequently, fatality rates.35
■Inefficiency. Estimates of the net efficiency benefits of the 55 mph speed limit vary markedly, depending on the value attached to human lives and the costs of time lost by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph. One estimate of net efficiency benefits is $2.3 billion; another is minus $3.4 billion.36

Threats to the plausibility/validity

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