Public Policy

1. What is a deadweight Loss?

Deadweight loss occurs when supply and demand are not in equilibrium. When consumers do not feel the price of a good or service is justified when compared to the perceived utility, they are less likely to purchase the item. With the reduced level of trade, the allocation of resources may become inefficient, which can lead to a reduction in overall welfare within a society. Examples: Minimum wage and living wage laws can create a deadweight loss by causing employers to overpay for employees and preventing low-skilled workers from securing jobs.

Undervalued and Overvalued products created deadweight loss. Explanation..

2. Is it possible for a person to experience a gain in absolute wellbeing while suffering a loss in relative wellbeing?

Absolute poverty: reflects the degree to which a person’s basic needs are being met-food, housing, health care, and so on.

Relative poverty: measures an individual’s consumption relative to other members of society.

Both measures of poverty have advantages and limitation. An absolute measure of poverty defines some basic level of consumption and measures the number of individuals or families who fail to achieve it. Policy makers identify a basket of basic necessities, such as food, transportation, and healthcare, and then set the poverty “line” at the amount of income required to purchase those items. That minimum level of consumption does not change over time, even as society gets richer {though the actual income thresholds are updated to reflect changes in prices). Economists long assumed that “envy” does not enter our utility functions. Our sense of well-being should be determined by the good and service that we can enjoy rather than by the things that other people have or don’t have. Yet we know from everyday life that humans are acutely aware of status and relative consumption.

3. What is meant by aggregating preferences? How is that approached?

The process in which the beliefs and opinions of many actors-, their individual preferences-are organized into the preferences of the group as a whole, often as a prerequisite for making a communal decision. There is no singles process for aggregating preferences that is guaranteed to produce the best policy outcome. Representatives are different kinds of representative bodies: one apportions representatives equally by state regardless of population; the other apportions representative by state based on population. As a result the who chambers often produce different outcomes, even though both bodies represent the same American citizens! All political processes have strengths and weaknesses.

4. Compare direct democracy and representative democracy

A direct democracy, also referred as a pure democracy is a form of government wherein the citizens have a direct say in the formulation of laws and issues that affect them while representative democracy is a form of government wherein citizens vote for or elect a representative to represent them in the Congress or the Senate (for the US). In a direct democracy, citizens propose, decide, and change Constitutional laws; initiate referendums; and choose and remove public officials who are not effectively doing their jobs. Switzerland is an example of a country that is using direct democracy. Direct democracy is efficient in small population countries, where citizens can be active, but in countries like the US, representative democracy seems like the better option.

5. Does it make any difference as to how representation is allocated?

One of the most important insights of political science is that not all methods of electing representatives will produce the same governance outcomes. The rules for allocating representation in a decision-making body have a profound effect on the relative power of the different groups represented. One of the crucial debates at the constitutional convention was over the number of legislative representatives from each state. If each state had been granted the same number of legislators, legislative seats were allocated in proportion to a state’s population, however, then the small states would have had virtually no influence at all.

At-large legislative districts: Districts in which all of the representatives are elected by all of the eligible voters in the relevant geographic area.

Single-member legislative districts: A method of electing legislature in which the relevant geography is divided into individual districts, with one representative elected by the members of each district.

6. Is everything up for a vote in most democracies?

While many people might argue that the ability to vote for everything is in the definition of democracy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will have a good effect on the society. One of the first main problems is that this principle of making decisions is time consuming and expensive, while at the same time it makes politicians redundant, hence the government become worthless in a way. While technically democracy gives us the freedom to make everything be up for a vote, that doesn’t prove to be the right decision all the time. A simple example is the Brexit, where the british citizens decided to leave

the EU, while economically this is a mistake for the country. Citizens not informed

7. What is logrolling?

A practice common in the U.S. Congress and in many other legislative assemblies in which two (or more) legislators agree for each to trade his vote on one bill he cares little about in exchange for the other’s vote on a bill that is personally much more important to him.

8. What is rent seeking?

Rent-seeking is when a company, organization or an individual uses its resources to obtain economic gain from other without actually giving any benefits back to the society. Examples of rent-seeking is companies lobbying the government for loans, grants or tax protection, while those activities do not create any benefit for the society. The most common type of rent-seeking is when companies use their capital to influence politicians and their decision making of the laws and regulations of that specific type of industry.

9. What are some key attribute of markets?

  1. All markets bring together utility-maximizing consumers with profit-maximizing firms.

  2. Price is the mechanism that brings supply of a good or service into equilibrium with demand.

  3. Markets are a powerful force for innovation and profess

  4. Regulating markets, or otherwise limiting the degree to which prices are allowed to bring supply and demand into equilibrium, will also dull the mechanism by which markets “heal” themselves.

  5. Market outcomes are amoral

  6. The same features of markets that make our lives steadily better also make it difficult to stop socially pernicious behavior for which there are markets, whether it is selling guns, drugs, sex, or even human organs.

10. What is meant by price signals

A price signal is information conveyed to consumers and producers via the price charged for a product or service, which provides a signal to increase or decrease supply or demand. They help the economy keep being on the right track, allocating its scarce resources appropriately. Guided by the correct price signals, resource users will use scarce resources with higher prices for only higher-valued purposes and the abundant resources with lower prices for lower-valued purposes. Hence, this helps the economy be at its maximum capacity, giving an accurate price depending on the resources used.

11. Define elasticity and how could it be used by a public policy analyst.

Elasticity is a measure of a variable’s sensitivity to a change in another variable. The government may use elasticity as a tool, for example, to define how much of taxes in a package of cigarettes should increase in order to discourage people to buy it.

12. How do markets facilitate specialization

Specialization is a method of production where a business or an economy focuses on the production of a limited scope of products or services to gain a greater degree of productive efficiency within an overall system. Looking more from an even bigger macroeconomics perspective, sometimes there are countries who focus at what they’re good at (native wise) and they specialize at that certain part of the economy. Hence, specialization is in the heart of the global trade.

Specialization helps the business to reduce the costs of its production, thus lowering the prices of the ending products. This helps for the overall reduction of the prices and the economies end up improving and growing.

13. Is specialization a good thing?

The positive effects of labor specialization include hands-on learning and time efficiency. Employees tend to practice specific skills in specialized jobs. Since workers focus on one or two tasks, they are more likely to improve at these tasks. On the other hand, being specialized would become harder to you to analyze a scenario as a whole, because you are specialized in one specific activity.

14. What are some functions that most everyone would expect government to undertake

Some of the basic functions that the government is expected to overtake are to preserve the order, national security, managing economic conditions and etc. Most of the times governments are taking care of the public goods. However, we need to bear in mind that public goods does not necessarily mean that they should be produced by the government. Preserving the order seems too broad, but from an economics perspective a government is supposed to preserve the competitive market and intervene at any point when the free market is not safe.

Another example is protection of property rights/ allows the market to work.

15. Can you list 4 areas where government functions to impact the market? What is the effect of the impact?

. Monetary Policy: The Printing Press

. Currency Inflation

. Regulatory Laws

. Labor Laws

Depending on the current interests of the government, its function can impact in the market in different ways. By changing the way some business must work, for example, the government may encourage or discourage the activity of that particular business. From another perspective, governments will encourage companies to borrow and buy more by dropping interest rates, which can be a good and a bad thing.