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DRAFT Revision date: 12/VIII/15
GSPP (1893 LeRoy St.) Rm 250, M,W 12:30-14:00
Course website: (bCourses) Pub Pol 101 Lec 001
Michael OHare
2607 Hearst Ave. #112
548-4168 until 22:30
Office hrs:
usually Th 10:00-13:00 sign up here; or by
Sharmila Bellur
Diogo Prosdocimi

Course Purpose and Scope

This is a course about how government can improve its performance by choosing
policies and programs that work. The perspective we take is that of public policy analysis, a
relatively new field of action and study that brings the insights of several academic
disciplinesand a fair amount of craft skills and street smartsto bear on the question
what should the government do about opportunity (or problem) X?
It has two specific goals. First, it is a freestanding course that will help you think
both creatively and critically about public policy issues as an interested citizen, as a future
public official, in other courses you may take, or in one of the many careers (like law,
medicine, engineering, and real estate) where the rules and practices of government make a
lot of difference to the participants. Second, it introduces/reviews the undergraduate
offerings in the UCB public policy minor and the kind of thinking that characterizes
graduate programs in the field and the professional practice of policy analysis.

PP 101 SPRING 2013

The approach of the course is to learn by (1) doing and (2) reflecting on what we did
and how it worked. We will examine several challenges to government (too much air
pollution, too many houses burning in Los Angeles, not enough public art, etc.) in very
different contexts, and try to figure out whether government is doing as well as it could and,
if not, what new policies would help. The point of this discussion is not for you to memorize
a half-dozen approved policies, much less to deplore a bunch of policy errors, but rather to
practice the kind of thinking and analysis that leads to better government performance.
In addition, each student will develop a policy analysis of an issue as a paper, and for
presentation to his or her section.
We will consider a number of fundamental questions, including:

When is it reasonable to think of people's private troubles as being public problems?

What means other than government does society use to ameliorate these public
What reasonable rules can we use to know when government should intervene?
When we do turn to government, what types of general strategies does government
What strategies appear to be more (or less) appropriate for different types of public
How do political institutions, interest groups, and the overall political process shape
What difficulties should we expect in implementing even the best conceived
governmental policies?
What strategies can you use to get your preferred policies adopted?
Why is it that collective action, carried out through government, can almost never
benefit some people without somehow harming others?
How can we balance these benefits and harms in a reasonable and equitable

Some of the course material will be presented in very short lectures, but the main
business of the course is discussion of a case or reading for the day. Of course, only part of
the class can speak every day, but that part is larger than most people think, and anyway,
attending carefully to other peoples ideas is fairly demanding work. The course will meet
once a week in small sections and twice as a whole; during the last few days of the class we
will meet only in discussion sections (but during regular class and section hours) for
individual student presentations.

PP 101 SPRING 2013

Students are encouraged to participate in study groups of 3-5 student members who
will be responsible for assisting one another in the preparation of their individual papers
and oral presentations. We will try to facilitate the formation of these groups in class.

During the course, each student will produce several products. The percentage of
the final grade represented by each is indicated in parentheses below.
Two in-class midterm exams (15 each). We will try to make these interesting and useful,
but their main purpose is to keep you up to date on the reading.
A policy analysis paper: 10-20 pages on a topic of your own choosing, delivered as a
draft/outline (15) and a final (25). The instructor and GSIs will provide further guidance on
how to choose a topic and how to plan and execute a research strategy. The paper should be
written as though for a particular decision-maker in government, with the writer assuming
the role of a staff assistant to this decision-maker. (Sometimes we refer to this individual,
or group, as "the client," though a financial relationship isn't implied-but more on this in
class.) Clear, grammatically-correct, well-organized, and succinct presentation is expected.
Note that this is not a typical term paper that explains why something happened in the past,
or reports what other people have said about an issue.
The paper draft need not be complete, but it should show substantial progress. The
argument and supporting evidence should be generally apparent, including some citations
to important sources. The draft must include at least 500 words of your best writing so that
we may flag problems and suggest how to improve it even further for the final version.
Three of your classmates, chosen randomly, plus anyone else you can round up to help you,
will critique your draft (but not grade it). We highly recommend that your draft be a
sentence outline (see the memo on this form on bCourses).
A 10-minute presentation of the highlights of your paper to your section (15)
Class participation (25)
The last two items imply that you agree to be responsible for the learning
of others in this course, and for evaluating the contributions of others to your
learning. If you prefer that someone just tell you the content, you will not enjoy
this course and would spend your time better on the web or in the library.

PP 101 SPRING 2013

You must have a name card every day.

Three times during the term, you will be asked to evaluate every other students
contribution to your learning, including discussion in class and in section, comments and
help with your paper draft, and any other way people have found to be helpful. Some
criteria for this judgment that have no official standing, but have been useful to students in
the past, are posted on bCourses. As the course progresses, this judgment will include more
and more information. The first two rounds of evaluation are advisory only, and the
aggregated results of this evaluation (with evaluations from people in your section weighted
more heavily) will be distributed, with names grouped alphabetically in quartiles. At the
end of the term, after the third round of this process, the faculty will assign a class
participation grade to the two or three students with the lowest score, and all other scores
will be distributed from that grade up to A. Notice (i) that it is possible for everyone to get
an A for this part of the course, and (ii) the incentives for you to improve the performance of
others. We will keep an attendance record (be sure to sign in every day see below) and
make it available to you, to use as you wish for class participation grading.
Technology requires a note on etiquette. First, turn off your phone in class and
section. Second, grownups use laptops in meetings, and you are free to use yours in class,
but only for class. It is not appropriate to use technology in class for anything except (1)
taking notes on the discussion (but before you do, read this) (2) searching the internet for
something that will advance the discussion, perhaps to share. This is not a time to check
your email, bid on eBay, read the newspaper, check Facebook, etc. Since attendance is not
required, it is especially rude to be in class doing something else.
Communication will have three main channels.
(1) Email to the bCourses list, which probably has your UC Berkeley email address. Be
sure to monitor or forward your Berkeley email throughout the semester even if you use
another email address for everything else.
(2) A listserve for the whole class, and another for each section, including faculty and
possibly some lurking colleagues. If you have to miss a class, its a good idea, and polite, to
send a notice to one of these lists so people dont think youre just being flaky.
(3) Listserves with only students. These are for plotting revolution, grousing privately
about the course, planning the surprise birthday party for your GSI, etc.


PP 101 SPRING 2013

There is one textbook for the course: Bardach, E., A Practical Guide for Policy
Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving: CQ Press (3rd, 4th or 5th
edition), available at the ASUC Store. You also need an iClicker, also available at ASUC,
registered at
Many readings are available online, with links in this syllabus. You will need to log
in to the library proxy with a UC ID, or use a campus computer, to get to them.
A reader, in one or more volumes, will be required for materials not on line. It will be
announced in class and available at Vick Copy, on Hearst at Euclid. Some materials may be
distributed in class, with a notice on bCourses.
You must read a newspaper with international reach every day; not all of it, of
course, but you are responsible to know what was on the front page affecting politics and
policyespecially what we are discussing in class on a given week. Of course as an
educated citizen you already do that, but in case you have become careless, here are
educational and discounted rates for the New York Times, the Guardian, and. The
Washington Post has steeply discounted rates you can find online.

Other important information

Term paper drafts must be:
1) in electronic form
2) submitted to the Paper Draft assignment on bCourses
We will return your drafts with comments on the file itself and/or an mp3 file of dictated
Final papers will probably have specific logistical rules by section; instructions to follow.
The Assignments/Communication and Writing Aids section of the bSpace site has
some memos that may be useful for you. Comments on your drafts and papers may include
the note RN: this means something in the Rhetoric Note applies.
The usual rules and standards regarding plagiarism and citation apply; if
youre not sure what they are, look here
id=4068 as you are responsible to know and observe them. The consequences for
plagiarism are severe.

PP 101 SPRING 2013

IMPORTANT: This syllabus is subject to revision as the course progresses (though we will
not be frivolous about it). The latest official version will always be on the course website with
a revision number in the filename.

Wed 26/VIII: A recent technological development some of you may have noticed is the
radar/laser jammer. Not to be confused with a radar detector, which is itself illegal in some
states, the jammer (the manufacturer claims) makes your car invisible to radar and laser by
confusing the police speed detector.
OHare, M., A Typology of Governmental Action, B
What should the state government do about these devices, if anything? Why?
Mon 31/VIII: Elements of policy analysis
Bardach, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective
Problem Solving, 4th Edition, CQ Press 2011, 1-79. Note: the sooner you read this whole
(short) book all the way through, the better.
Weimer & Vining, Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, chapters 1-2 R
Lincoln, A., Communication to the people of Sangamo County A 1907 and an 1835 map of
the Springfield region are on the website.B
Gelber et al, Effects of youth Employment (this is not as long as it looks! Also, if the
econometrics is new to you, dont get hung up the methodology.) B
Be prepared to discuss the comparison of costs and benefits in these policy analyses. Can you
see some or all of the eightfold path steps?
Wed 2/IX: Market failure: Public goods

PP 101 SPRING 2013

Special for non-US students (and Americans who are a little fuzzy on their high
school civics content ): a textbook excerpt on the US government system is
posted on bCourses under Files/Readings.
Cowen, T. Public Goods, Concise Encyclopedia of Economics
OHare, M. A typology of governmental action B
See if you can sketch the supply and demand curves for visits to an art museum. Note that
before the first visit, but only once, we have to spend zillions of dollars on a building and a
bunch of expensive paintings, hiring guards, etc., so the supply curve is not like the typical
one. The demand curve probably slopes down to the right in the usual way, with each visitor
willing to pay somewhat less than the one before.
What should the museum admission charge be? Note: almost all these discussion
questions are assumed to be followed by Why?

How much should it cost to listen to an mp3 file of a 3-minute song? To walk to class on a
Berkeley sidewalk? What do the answers have to do with the museum diagram you just made
(hint: change the labels on the axes!).
How should musicians figure out what songs to record/composers, what kind of song to
write, next?
What other goods can you think of that are like museums in this way?
Wed 9/IX: Ethics and Fairness Assessing the relative justice of different states of
society, especially how things are and how they might be with some new policy
in place.
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the
streets, to steal bread, and to sleep under bridges Anatole France
Stone, Deborah. Policy Paradox, Ch. 2-4. R
Milller, Benjamin, and North, Kidneys for Sale, in The Economics of Public Issues, 17th
edition, pp. 54-66. R
Consider the following situations:
John has:

Mary has:





PP 101 SPRING 2013



Does overall justice increase/decrease if the world moves from A to B? From B to C? If B and
C are the only possible states, which is better; should government act to move society from B
to C?
Should the government forbid X (poor) to sell a kidney to Y (rich)?
Mon 14/IX: Management
The West Dakota Cafeteria (WDC) B
Moore, M., Creating Value in the Public Sector Ch. 1-2 R
What should Parfaite do? Be careful not to confuse the actions he should take with the result
he seeks. Make assumptions about the actual cafeteria setup, staffing, etc. as necessary. You
might want to form a specific mental image of him sitting at his desk: what tools does he
have at hand?
Wed. 16/IX Supply and demand, price and cost, price ceilings/supports
Wheelan, Charles, Introduction to Public Policy, Ch. 7 R
Kate Zernike, Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery, New York Times,
Steven Suranovic, A Fair-Market Solution to the Gas Shortage in the US Northeast, The
Moderate Voice, 11/9/12:
Steven Beard, British government wants booze price hike, American Public Media:
Marketplace, 11/28/12:
Economists advise us to respect market prices (when the market works properly) as
indicators of value in a deep sense, that is, as values that should be maximized. Is there a
moral basis for this advice?
Mon 21/IX: Consumer and producer surplus, efficiency

PP 101 SPRING 2013

Jake McGoldrick, Paying the price for congestion, San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2008 The Congestion Problem, What is Congestion Pricing, Benefits of
Congestion Pricing, Examples in the U.S.
What should the admission price be at, for example, the Uffizi in Florence or MOMA in New
York, which are so popular that lines regularly form in the street to get in?
Wed 23/IX: Collective action
Matthew Dolan and Kris Maher, Unions Dealt Blow in UAWs Home State, Wall Street
Journal, December 12, 2012:
Thomas Schelling, Hockey Helmets, Concealed Weapons,and Daylight Saving (this classic
article is long and fairly technical; read until you get the basic idea and/or run aground)
Berkeley Academic Senate by-laws, pp. 1-2 (Functions ad Membership)
Rosenberg, M. Peninsula high-speed rail track plans unveiled
What is a right-to-work law? What does Michigans right-to-work law mean for unions?
What are its implications for party politics in Michigan?
UC Berkeley [assertedly] has a strong tradition of faculty governance through the Division
Senate, whose members number about 1500. It meets each semester for about three hours.
What do you expect the typical attendance at these meetings is?
Imagine that you are a wealthy business person with a really nice estate in Atherton, which
has the highest per-household median income of any town in the US. You frequently go to Los
Angeles. How do you feel about the California High-speed Rail proposed alignment between
San Jos and San Francisco? What might you do about it?

Mon 28/IX: Common pool resources

Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons
Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons, 1-28. R
Dairy farming: Cows exercise on bSpace
Wed 30/IX: Negative externalities
Baumol & Blinder, Ch. 13 (part), 301-311, Ch. 21 (part), 491-504 R


PP 101 SPRING 2013

Schmalensee, R. & R. Stavins, The SO2 Allowance Trading System: The Ironic History of a
Grand Policy Experiment (MIT CEPR).
Review: Lauraine G. Chestnut, Human Health Benefits From Sulfate Reductions Under
Title IV Of The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments Final Report, USEPA B.
Look especially at the summary of health benefits and at Chapter 5, which describes how
these were assigned money values.
Why dont we just regulate sulfur plant-by-plant? Why isnt California listed in the tables of
Chestnut? Why should we care about this issue anyway? What does it have to do with global
Mon 5/X: Information asymmetry
Wood Roofing:
What are the key market failures underlying government regulation of roof materials? What
are the main policy alternatives for the city in this case (not all are described in the case)?
How does fire insurance change your analysis?
Wed 7/X: Transportation fuels
Farrell, A. et al, Ethanol Can Contribute to Energy and Environmental Goals
Hertel, T.W. et al, Effects of US Maize Ethanol on Global Land Use and Greenhouse
Gas Emissions: Estimating Market-mediated Responses B
Plevin, R. et al, Carbon Accounting and Economic Model Uncertainty of Emissions from
Biofuels-Induced Land Use Change B
Mon 12/X: Rights and duties
Mon 19/X:
Glaser, J. et al, Racial Bias and Public Policy B
Kleiman, M., When Brute Force Fails, TBA R

PP 101 SPRING 2013


Wed 21/X: Equity and Equality: Influence

Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics: Public Policy, Political
Organization, and the Precipitous Rise of Top Incomes in the United States, Politics &
Society 38, no. 2 (2010): 152-204.
Kris Maher, Firefighters Battle Labor-Curbs Bill, Wall Street Journal, September 26,
Peter Henderson, The Vote that Could Change Public Pensions, The Fiscal Times, June 4,
Skim: Public Pensions for Retirement Security, Little Hoover Commission, February 2011:
How have interest groups affected income inequality in the U.S.? How have they shaped the
debate on gun control? What role have they played in states policies on public sector
collective bargaining? On public sector pensions?

Mon 26/X: The Agenda Why does government act on some issues and not others?
Kingdon, J. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, chapters 4 & 8 R
Baumgartner & Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics, chapters 2 & 4 R
Come prepared to discuss three policy areas gun control, collective bargaining, and public
sector pensions with a focus on when, why, and how government has acted on them, when
and why it has not, and what we should expect in the future. Additional articles to be
Wed 28/X: Policy formation and the Courts
Mon 2/XI: (schedule slack; TBA)


PP 101 SPRING 2013


Wed 4/XI: Decision Analysis
Carter Racing A,B (B)

Mon 9/XI: Business Licenses

Business Licenses B

Mon 16/XI: Implementation (guest speaker TBA)

Wed 18/XI: Using new technology to change an organizations working style and
Deming, Out of the Crisis Ch. 1-2 R
St. Louis County Police
Be prepared to discuss the implementation of the new technology. What were the important
decisions in the project? Why? What were the most important ways that this could have gone
wrong? Are the important challenges technical, administrative, cultural, or all of these?
Mon 23/XI: Leadership and Community
Exodus Ch. XII
Elizabeth Best A,B,C R
Heifetz, R. Leadership Without Easy Answers Ch. TBA R
Why do the Hebrews obey Moses instructions (why might they not?) What leadership
resources does he deploy?
Why might the inspectors not be doing their job? What leadership tools available to Moses
are available to Best to get the inspections accomplished?

PP 101 SPRING 2013


Mon 30/XI: Leadership and Duties

Eliot, T.S. Murder in the Cathedral R.
You might want to refresh your English history and recall of Thomas Becket on Wikipedia,
Consider the arguments offered by the four tempters, the priests, and the women of
Canterbury trying to get Thomas to react variously to the threat he faces (they face?) Which
have weight? What are Thomas duties to the various communities and authorizing
environments to which he might provide leadership?
Wed 2/XII: Review

Dec. 7,9
Section meetings week of Nov. 30, Dec. 7