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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. Prerequisites: ECON 102B.
| UG Reqs: WAY-AQR, WAY-SI

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

This course explores the role of law in promoting economic welfare. Law has many meanings and many aspects, but some version of it is essential to cooperative human interaction and thus to civilization itself. Cooperation often is a positive-sum or welfare-enhancing activity, while competition among individuals, in contrast, is often zero- or negative-sum. Law, among its other functions, can serve as a mechanism to harmonize private incentives to achieve cooperative gains, to maintain an equitable division of those gains, and to deter "cheating." Economic analysis of law focuses on the welfare-enhancing incentive effects of law and law enforcement and on law's role in reducing the risks of cooperation by setting expectations of "what courts or the state will do" in various contingencies. Prerequisite: Econ 50.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

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 analysis, statistical evidence and historical and current fiscal policy debates in the U.S. and around the world. Policy topics: Fiscal crises, budget surpluses/deficits; tax reform; social security, public goods, and externalities; fiscal federalism; public investment; and cost-benefit analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 51, ECON 52 (can be taken concurrently).
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI
Instructors: Boskin, M. (PI)

PUBLPOL 121L: Racial-Ethnic Politics in US (AMSTUD 121L, 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. Stats 60 or Econ 1 is strongly recommended.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-ED, WAY-SI

PUBLPOL 124: What's Wrong with American Government? An Institutional Approach (POLISCI 120C)

How politicians, once elected, work together to govern America. The roles of the President, Congress, and Courts in making and enforcing laws. Focus is on the impact of constitutional rules on the incentives of each branch, and on how they influence law. Fulfills the Writing in the Major Requirement for Political Science majors.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI
Instructors: Grimmer, J. (PI)

PUBLPOL 137: Innovations in Microcredit and Development Finance (URBANST 137)

The role of innovative financial institutions in supporting economic development, the alleviation of rural and urban poverty, and gender equity. Analysis of the strengths and limits of commercial banks, public development banks, credit unions, and microcredit organizations both in the U.S. and internationally. Readings include academic journal articles, formal case studies, evaluations, and annual reports. Priority to students who have taken any portion of the social innovation series: URBANST 131, 132, or 133. Recommended: ECON 1A or 1B.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

PUBLPOL 154: Politics and Policy in California

State politics and policy making, including the roles of the legislature, legislative leadership, governor, special interests, campaign finance, advocacy groups, ballot initiatives, state and federal laws, media, and research organizations. Case studies involving budgets, education, pensions, health care, political reform, environmental reforms, water, transportation and more. Evaluation of political actions, both inside and outside of government, that can affect outcomes. Enrollment limited to 20 students. One day trip to Sacramento.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

PUBLPOL 156: Health Care Policy and Reform

Focuses on healthcare policy at the national, state, and local levels. Includes sessions on international models, health insurance, the evolution of healthcare policy in the U.S., key U.S. healthcare topics (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [PPACA], Medicare, Medicaid, public employee retiree health care), the role of technology, reform proposals (single payer, national health care, market-based systems, regulated markets, state and local reform efforts), efficiency/cost drivers and prospects for future policy. We expect to spend at least two sessions on recent developments surrounding PPACA (aka Obamacare) and its implementation.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

PUBLPOL 174: The Urban Economy (URBANST 173)

Applies the principles of economic analysis to historical and contemporary urban and regional development issues and policies. Explores themes of urban economic geography, location decision-making by firms and individuals, urban land and housing markets, and local government finance. Critically evaluates historical and contemporary government policies regulating urban land use, housing, employment development, and transportation. Prerequisite: Econ 1A or permission of instructor.
| UG Reqs: WAY-SI

PUBLPOL 184: Poverty and Policies in Developing Economies

Economic models of growth and poverty, differences in growth rates among countries, and the persistence of poverty. Models of physical and human capital accumulation, and recent theories of the importance of institutions, social capital, and political factors. The effectiveness of social policies in developing countries, emphasizing India, in the light of theories of growth and poverty, and in terms of immediate goals and long-term consequences. Policies include schooling and health, anti-poverty, banking, and political decentralization. Limited Enrollment. Prerequisites: ECON 1 and ECON 50.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-SI
Instructors: Kochar, A. (PI)
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