Dec 20, 2021 Uncategorized

Economic Policy Research Paper Assignment at an Affordable Cost

Your goal:  In an approximately 15-page paper, synthesize existing knowledge about an economic policy, and present evidence-based conclusions about the policy’s consequences (both intended and unintended).

Suggested Format/Sections of Paper:

  • Introduction (1-1.5 pages)

Provide your name and a title for your paper at the top of the first page. The introduction should provide the reader with an overview of your paper. For example, a paragraph summarizing the policy, a paragraph or two about the main effects of the policy, and a paragraph summarizing your evaluation of the policy from a social welfare (efficiency and/or equity) standpoint.

  • Description of policy (2-3 pages)

Summarize relevant details of the policy including what entity enacted it, to whom did it apply and under what conditions, how did it change or constrain behavior, any important historical or contextual background about why the policy was enacted and implemented as it was. [Note that you may wish to re-order (2) and (3).]

  • Theoretical (normative) rationale for the policy (3-4 pages including graphical figure(s))

Choose one (or more, if needed) intermediate-level economic models to illustrate why this policy could theoretically improve upon a market failure or an existing, less-efficient policy. In other words, on what efficiency grounds, if any, is the policy justified? If the policy has equity as a goal, describe the equity improvement in terms of the policy’s effect on the distribution of total surplus (for example, how could the policy make the worst-off people better off?). Using your theoretical framework, explain what behavioral responses would be required for the anticipated benefits to result and what unintended consequences the policy may have. One option for illustrating the behavioral responses is to develop a simple numerical model like our in-class Excel activities.

  • Empirical evidence about effects of the policy (4-5 pages)

Summarize existing empirical research about the consequences of the policy, both intended and unintended. Depending on the scope of the policy you are studying and how intensively it has been studied in the previous literature, you may want to focus on just one or two outcome variables among many that were potentially affected. Describe the effects both qualitatively (their direction) and quantitatively (you may find different numerical estimates of the policy’s impacts in different papers and that is fine- you can discuss a range of results and the reasons for scientific uncertainty). For each of the papers you cite, try to explain how the authors use their data to identify the causal effect of the policy on the outcome variable of interest (what is their ‘identification strategy’?).

  • Evaluation of the policy (2-3 pages)

Draw your own conclusions about the policy’s success from a social welfare (efficiency and/or equity) standpoint. In this section you may critique the theoretical, normative rationale for the policy, or take the rationale as given. You should choose the strongest empirical evidence on which to base your conclusions. You should acknowledge the limits of your own analysis and where additional information would be helpful in drawing your conclusions.

Grading:     Your grade on this assignment will be based on the quality and quantity of your research; the quality of your writing (organization, clarity, grammar and style); the extent to which you follow all directions; the content (application of economic theory and interpretation of empirical evidence); and the evidence offered in support of your overall policy evaluation. Sources:               The paper should have a minimum of 10 scholarly sources (scholarly books, articles from journals or chapters in edited volumes, government materials, or academic working papers). You may include “popular” sources (i.e. newspapers) but these do not count towards the 10. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and web sites not connected with the government, a university, or a recognized “think tank” are generally not acceptable sources. If you are in doubt, please ask me.
Please use in-line citations and list references as in the American Economic Association style:

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