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PUBLPOL 78N: Economic Policies of the Presidential Candidates (ECON 78N)

In nearly all polls, American voters rank the economy as one of their most important concerns. In the presidential election, much of the debate for voters will be on questions of economic policy. In this course, we will delve deeply into economic policy issues to understand options for government intervention and possible outcomes. We will combine economic analysis with political science methodology to understand efficient and implementable policy proposals.nnSpecific areas of interest will be taxation, budget, entitlement programs, economic regulation and competition policy, trade, demography, income inequality, and monetary policy. The course will incorporate other timely and salient policy issues as they arise during the course of the campaign. n nStudents will be expected to write a short paper and make an oral presentation to the class. A wide range of topics will be acceptable, including those directly related to campaign issues as well as other long-term economic issues facing the country.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 101: Politics and Public Policy (AMSTUD 123X, POLISCI 102, PUBLPOL 201)

American political institutions (the Presidency, Congress, and the Court) and political processes (the formation of political attitudes and voting) have for some time now been criticized as inadequate to the task of making modern public policy. Against the backdrop of American culture and political history we examine how public policy has been and is being made. We use theories from Political Science and Economics to assess the state of the American system and the policy making process. We use case studies and lectures to analyze contemporary issues including environmental policy, taxes and spending , gun control , economic growth and inequality and mobility. In some of these issue areas we use comparative data from other countries to see how the U.S. is doing relative to other countries. In addition to class room lecture and discussion, student groups are formed to analyze policy issues of relevance to them. Undergraduate Public Policy students are required to enroll in this class for five units.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 105: Empirical Methods in Public Policy (PUBLPOL 205)

Methods of empirical analysis and applications in public policy. Emphasis on causal inference and program evaluation. Public policy applications include health, education, and labor. Assignments include hands-on data analysis, evaluation of existing literature, and a final research project. Objective is to obtain tools to 1) critically evaluate evidence used to make policy decisions and 2) perform empirical analysis to answer questions in public policy. Prerequisite: ECON 102B. Enrollment is limited to Public Policy students. Public Policy students must take the course for a letter grade.
Terms: Win, Spr | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 106: Law and Economics (ECON 154, PUBLPOL 206)

This course explores the role of law in promoting well-being (happiness). Law, among its other functions, can serve as a mechanism to harmonize private incentives with cooperative gains, to maintain an equitable division of those gains, and to deter "cheating" and dystopia. Law is thus essential to civilization. Economic analysis of law focuses on the welfare-enhancing incentive effects of law and its enforcement and on law's role in reducing the risks of cooperation, achieved by fixing expectations of what courts or the state will do in various futures. Prerequisite: ECON 51 or PUBLPOL 51.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 107: Public Finance and Fiscal Policy (ECON 141)

What role should and does government play in the economy? What are the effects of government spending, borrowing, and taxation on efficiency, equity and economic stability and growth? The course covers economic, historical and statistical analyses and current policy debates in the U.S. and around the world. Policy topics: Fiscal crises, budget deficits, the national debt and intergenerational equity; tax systems and tax reform; social security and healthcare programs and reforms; transfers to the poor; public goods and externalities; fiscal federalism; public investment and cost-benefit analysis; and the political economy of government decision-making. Prerequisites: ECON 51 (Public Policy majors may take PUBLPOL 51 as a substitute for ECON 51), ECON 52 (can be taken concurrently).
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Boskin, M. (PI)

PUBLPOL 121L: Racial-Ethnic Politics in US (CSRE 121L, POLISCI 121L)

This course examines various issues surrounding the role of race and ethnicity in the American political system. Specifically, this course will evaluate the development of racial group solidarity and the influence of race on public opinion, political behavior, the media, and in the criminal justice system. We will also examine the politics surrounding the Multiracial Movement and the development of racial identity and political attitudes in the 21st century. PoliSci 150A, Stats 60 or Econ 1 is strongly recommended.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 122: Biosecurity and Bioterrorism Response (BIOE 122, EMED 122, EMED 222, PUBLPOL 222)

Overview of the most pressing biosecurity issues facing the world today. Guest lecturers have included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Special Assistant on BioSecurity to Presidents Clinton and Bush Jr. Dr. Ken Bernard, Chief Medical Officer of the Homeland Security Department Dr. Alex Garza, eminent scientists, innovators and physicians in the field, and leaders of relevant technology companies. How well the US and global healthcare systems are prepared to withstand a pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, how the medical/healthcare field, government, and the technology sectors are involved in biosecurity and pandemic or bioterrorism response and how they interface, the rise of synthetic biology with its promises and threats, global bio-surveillance, making the medical diagnosis, isolation, containment, hospital surge capacity, stockpiling and distribution of countermeasures, food and agriculture biosecurity, new promising technologies for detection of bio-threats and countermeasures. Open to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students. No prior background in biology necessary. 4 units for twice weekly attendance (Mon. and Wed.); additional 1 unit for writing a research paper for 5 units total maximum.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER: DB-NatSci, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Trounce, M. (PI)

PUBLPOL 124: American Political Institutions in Uncertain Times (POLISCI 120C)

This course examines how the rules that govern elections and the policy process determine political outcomes. It explores the historical forces that have shaped American political institutions, contemporary challenges to governing, and prospects for change. Topics covered include partisan polarization and legislative gridlock, the politicization of the courts, electoral institutions and voting rights, the expansion of presidential power, campaign finance and lobbying, representational biases among elected officials, and the role of political institutions in maintaining the rule of law. Throughout, emphasis will be placed on the strategic interactions between Congress, the presidency, and the courts and the importance of informal norms and political culture.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Bonica, A. (PI)

PUBLPOL 133: Political Power in American Cities (AMSTUD 121Z, POLISCI 121, URBANST 111)

The major actors, institutions, processes, and policies of sub-state government in the U.S., emphasizing city general-purpose governments through a comparative examination of historical and contemporary politics. Issues related to federalism, representation, voting, race, poverty, housing, and finances.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PUBLPOL 136: The Sharing Economy (URBANST 136)

The rapid growth of the sharing economy, sometimes also called the peer to peer economy, is made possible by the ubiquity of smart phones, inefficiency of ownership, and measures designed to create and measure trust among participants. The course will explore not only the rapid rise of certain companies but also the shadow side of commercialized relationships. We will examine the economics and development consequences of the sharing economy, primarily with an urban focus, along an emphasis on the design of platforms and markets, ownership, the nature of work, environmental degradation and inequality.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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