4B+Thought+Questions+Revised - HumBio 4B Midterm 2008...

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HumBio 4B Midterm 2008 Thought Questions These questions will guide you in integrating the diverse material you have learned throughout the quarter. Please note that the study questions are not exhaustive, and exam questions will draw on all of the readings, lectures, problem sets, and sections. Policy analysis Why might individual action alones be insufficient for solving environmental and health problems? Because when it comes to environmental issues, the benefits are spread throughout the entire population so the individual’s benefit is not high enough to influence enough people to do environmentally helpful things. For example when pricing a product only the private costs are taken into account by the company. When the externalities are factored in through policy. Consumers are not motivated to buy environmentally friendly products because they are so expensive, but comparatively they would not be so expensive if the environmentally unfriendly products factored in the cost to the environment in their price, which policy would force. What are some key steps from scientific understanding to policy implementation? What is political mobilization bias? How can it prevent implementation of policies that are efficiency improving, that is, that provide aggregate net benefits? Policy mobilization bias presents the idea that when the costs are very concentrated among a small group of people. IF the group of people is affluent, then they can lobby to prevent the passage of the law. Lobbyists are in this business. IF they have more money then its more likely that the policy will not be passed despite the total benefits. Under what conditions does incremental reform tend to occur? When might fundamental reform occur? What is the “window of opportunity?” For fundamental change, you need: (1) the issue to be one of the most important issues on everyones mind (2) Appropriate political circumstances (3) A solution immediately available (there is a window of opportunity for implementing the change, you must stay within it or else!) ex: 80% of US population believes there should be universal healthcare, but these 3 circumstances have yet to line up. Explain the difference between the positive and normative realms. Does policy analysis invoke both realms? a. Positive: What is i. Objective ii. Everyone usually agrees on these iii. Determining the facts b. Normative: What should be 1
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i. Subjective ii. Subject to interpretation: not everyone agrees 1. Determining what should be prioritized such as equity vs. efficiency. iii. How much is this policy worth to me? c. Both are incorporated in all policy analysis d. Equity i. How do costs and benefits match up compared to each other. ii. Can be assessed along SES, age, etc.
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This note was uploaded on 08/01/2009 for the course HUMBIO 4a taught by Professor Various during the Spring '08 term at Stanford.

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4B+Thought+Questions+Revised - HumBio 4B Midterm 2008...

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