Public Policy in an Uncertain World: Analysis and Decisions

Manski, Charles F.

Published by Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674066898 / ISBN 13: 9780674066892
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Manski argues that public policy is based on untrustworthy analysis. Failing to account for uncertainty in an uncertain world, policy analysis routinely misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Manski critiques the status quo and offers an innovation to improve both how policy research is conducted and how it is used by policy makers. Num Pages: 224 pages, 1 graph, 3 tables. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JHB; JPQB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 242 x 21. Weight in Grams: 464. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory #

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Public policy advocates routinely assert that “research has shown” a particular policy to be desirable. But how reliable is the analysis in the research they invoke? And how does that analysis affect the way policy is made, on issues ranging from vaccination to minimum wage to FDA drug approval? Charles Manski argues here that current policy is based on untrustworthy analysis. By failing to account for uncertainty in an unpredictable world, policy analysis misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Public Policy in an Uncertain World critiques the status quo and offers an innovation to improve how policy research is conducted and how policy makers use research.

Consumers of policy analysis, whether civil servants, journalists, or concerned citizens, need to understand research methodology well enough to properly assess reported findings. In the current model, policy researchers base their predictions on strong assumptions. But as Manski demonstrates, strong assumptions lead to less credible predictions than weaker ones. His alternative approach takes account of uncertainty and thereby moves policy analysis away from incredible certitude and toward honest portrayal of partial knowledge. Manski describes analysis of research on such topics as the effect of the death penalty on homicide, of unemployment insurance on job-seeking, and of preschooling on high school graduation. And he uses other real-world scenarios to illustrate the course he recommends, in which policy makers form reasonable decisions based on partial knowledge of outcomes, and journalists evaluate research claims more closely, with a skeptical eye toward expressions of certitude.

From the Back Cover: Policy analysis, like all empirical research, combines assumptions and data to draw conclusions about a population of interest. The logic of empirical inference is summarized by the relationship: assumptions + data conclusions. Data alone do not suffice to draw conclusions. Inference requires assumptions that relate the data to the population of interest ... Holding fixed the available data, and presuming avoidance of errors in logic, stronger assumptions yield stronger conclusions. At the extreme, one may achieve certitude by posing sufficiently strong assumptions. [However, ] the credibility of inference decreases with the strength of the assumptions maintained ... Researchers regularly express certitude about the consequences of alternative [policy] decisions. Exact predictions of outcomes are common, and expressions of uncertainty are rare. Yet policy predictions are often fragile. Conclusions may rest on critical, unsupported assumptions or on leaps of logic. Then the certitude of policy analysis is not credible.

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Title: Public Policy in an Uncertain World: ...
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Public policy advocates routinely assert that research has shown a particular policy to be desirable. But how reliable is the analysis in the research they invoke? And how does that analysis affect the way policy is made, on issues ranging from vaccination to minimum wage to FDA drug approval? Charles Manski argues here that current policy is based on untrustworthy analysis. By failing to account for uncertainty in an unpredictable world, policy analysis misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Public Policy in an Uncertain World critiques the status quo and offers an innovation to improve how policy research is conducted and how policy makers use research. Consumers of policy analysis, whether civil servants, journalists, or concerned citizens, need to understand research methodology well enough to properly assess reported findings. In the current model, policy researchers base their predictions on strong assumptions. But as Manski demonstrates, strong assumptions lead to less credible predictions than weaker ones.His alternative approach takes account of uncertainty and thereby moves policy analysis away from incredible certitude and toward honest portrayal of partial knowledge. Manski describes analysis of research on such topics as the effect of the death penalty on homicide, of unemployment insurance on job-seeking, and of preschooling on high school graduation. And he uses other real-world scenarios to illustrate the course he recommends, in which policy makers form reasonable decisions based on partial knowledge of outcomes, and journalists evaluate research claims more closely, with a skeptical eye toward expressions of certitude. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780674066892

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Book Description HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Public policy advocates routinely assert that research has shown a particular policy to be desirable. But how reliable is the analysis in the research they invoke? And how does that analysis affect the way policy is made, on issues ranging from vaccination to minimum wage to FDA drug approval? Charles Manski argues here that current policy is based on untrustworthy analysis. By failing to account for uncertainty in an unpredictable world, policy analysis misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Public Policy in an Uncertain World critiques the status quo and offers an innovation to improve how policy research is conducted and how policy makers use research. Consumers of policy analysis, whether civil servants, journalists, or concerned citizens, need to understand research methodology well enough to properly assess reported findings. In the current model, policy researchers base their predictions on strong assumptions. But as Manski demonstrates, strong assumptions lead to less credible predictions than weaker ones.His alternative approach takes account of uncertainty and thereby moves policy analysis away from incredible certitude and toward honest portrayal of partial knowledge. Manski describes analysis of research on such topics as the effect of the death penalty on homicide, of unemployment insurance on job-seeking, and of preschooling on high school graduation. And he uses other real-world scenarios to illustrate the course he recommends, in which policy makers form reasonable decisions based on partial knowledge of outcomes, and journalists evaluate research claims more closely, with a skeptical eye toward expressions of certitude. Bookseller Inventory # AAU9780674066892

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Book Description Harvard University Press, 2013. Book Condition: New. Manski argues that public policy is based on untrustworthy analysis. Failing to account for uncertainty in an uncertain world, policy analysis routinely misleads policy makers with expressions of certitude. Manski critiques the status quo and offers an innovation to improve both how policy research is conducted and how it is used by policy makers. Num Pages: 224 pages, 1 graph, 3 tables. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JHB; JPQB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 163 x 242 x 21. Weight in Grams: 464. . 2013. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780674066892

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