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The Methodology of Normative Policy Analysis

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  • Robert, Christopher

    (Harvard Kennedy School)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard

    (Harvard Kennedy School)

Abstract

Policy analyses frequently clash. Their disagreements stem from many sources, including models, empirical estimates, and values such as who should have standing and how different criteria should be weighted. We provide a simple taxonomy of disagreement, identifying distinct categories within both the positive and values domains of normative policy analysis. Using disagreements in climate policy to illustrate, we demonstrate how illuminating the structure of disagreement helps to clarify the way forward. We conclude by suggesting a structure for policy analysis that can facilitate assessment, comparison, and debate by laying bare the most likely sources of disagreement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp11-004.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp11-004

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  1. Rodrik, Dani, 2010. "Diagnostics Before Prescription," Scholarly Articles 8057678, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  2. William D. Nordhaus, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 686-702, September.
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  7. Martin L. Weitzman, 2007. "A Review of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(3), pages 703-724, September.
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  10. E. Roy Weintraub, 1993. "Editor's Introduction," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 117-119, Spring.
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  13. Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, 1982. "Professional roles for policy analysts: A critical assessment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(1), pages 88-100.
  14. William Wascher & David Neumark, 2000. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1362-1396, December.
  15. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. " Distributional Objectives Should Affect Taxes but not Program Choice or Design," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 264-84.
  16. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
  17. Schelling, Thomas C, 1992. "Some Economics of Global Warming," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 1-14, March.
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