ECON 374
Poverty and Public Policy Spring 2017 Division II; Writing-Intensive;
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Since 1965, the annual poverty rate in the United States has hovered between 10% and 15%, though far more than 15% of Americans experience poverty at some point in their lives. In this course, we will study public policies that, explicitly or implicitly, have as a goal improving the well-being of the poor in this country. These policies include safety net programs (Aid to Families with Dependent Children/Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Food Stamps, Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program, and housing assistance), education programs (Head Start and public primary and secondary education), and parts of the tax code (the Earned Income Tax Credit). We will explore the design and functioning of these programs, focusing on questions economists typically ask when evaluating public policy: Does the policy achieve its goals? Does the design of the policy lead to unintended effects (either good or bad)? Could it be redesigned to achieve its goals in a more cost-effective manner? Through in-depth study of these programs, students will learn how economists bring theoretical models and empirical evidence to bear on important questions of public policy.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3105
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on six 5- to 7-page papers and on the quality of the student's oral presentations and commentary on the work of his/her colleagues
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: POEC 253 or ECON 255 or STAT 346 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Economics majors, Political Economy majors
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: JLST Interdepartmental Electives; POEC U.S. Political Economy + Public Policy Course;

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