PAP 3350 Lecture Notes - Mothers Against Drunk Driving, De Jure, Public Choice
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Oct 29, 2012
Things ppl are making choices
• What are policy instruments?
• Are all policy instruments the same?
• Why some policy instruments and not others?
Why public policy
Public policies as a means to fix failures and fix economic, social, or political problems
• People may lack the necessary incentives to act
• People may lack the necessary capacity to act
• People may disagree on values that underpin means
• Situations may involve a lot of uncertainty
o Economics: taught us that theres market failures.
o Ppl lack to do some things... ex: do we want to pay taxes, no but we are forced cause of the law
and jail time, we want to avoid the penalty.
o Lack of capacity to act.. yu have the will to act, but u have a lack of resources to act. Ex: help ppl
make their houses more energy efficient to save money on their bills. But sometimes ppl lack
the necessary money to invest in fixing their house to make it energy efficient.
o Sometimes ppl can disagree on needs and on the values, this complicates policy choices.
• Tools used to overcome problems and achieve objectives
• Tools used to influence behaviour
• Methods used by governments to achieve a desired effect
• They include:
• Frameworks, policies, programs, directives, standards, information bulletins, and
• Market-based instruments, regulations, legal requirements, research, technology
o Particular ways the u can deals with certified problems to achieve objectives.
o Tools used to influence our behaviour. Encourage our behaviour to pay for things on times...
o Some sort of authority choices in order to accomplish goals to resolve problems... they include a
lot of things... frameworks, policies,... crafted in certain ways to resolve certain problems.
o Policy instruments involves a wide range of items, which makes its a cool study on why certain
instruments are chosen, they vary...
ALL INSTRUMENTS ARE:
• An authoritative choice
• A means to accomplish a purpose
• Designed to encourage (or discourage) certain behaviour
• A response to a defined problem
• “Coercion continuum” – aka the degree of intervention
• Assumptions of human behaviour
o A means to accomplish: underlining objective,
o Designed to encourage: Oriented to try to make us do or do not do something
o Instruments vary on 2 key dimensions: Coercion continuum: state intervention, how much is the
state pushing u to do something or not to do something. 2- Assumption: the degree to which
you think what ppl do or do not do something, whos the target of the instrument it self, do u
think ppl are inclined to do something...
Consider the problems
• What is the severity of the problem?
• Who is being affected?
• How important is it to decision-makers?
• Who has the legitimate authority to act?
o 1- if a problem is more seveire, or more salient, the degree of intervention of the state may go
up, the state will be more motivated to resolve the problem.
NOT ALL INSTRUMENTS ARE ALIKE
• Different assumptions of human behaviour
• Different assumptions about what can be done
• Different assumptions about who should do it
• Different assumptions about coerciveness
o Instruments vary on the assumptions of human behaviour, ....
Four Contextual Things That Influence Instruments
• How central is the government
• Government’s legal power and other sources of legitimacy
• Determines the financial aspects of government
• Government capacity for direct action
o Used to try to think about wat is required to put in places the policy. Influenced by the resources
required to put them into place.
o N : attention to how important the gov itself to the particular program. Is the gov providing the
program service, are they at the center point, how much info are the giving
o A: the gov legal authority and sources of legitimacy.
o T: money, how much is required...
o O: what is the gov capacity for direct action, do they have admin processes and regulation
A Typology of Instruments
EVERT VERDUNG’S CLASSIFICATION
• Inducements and incentives
• valued goods might not emerge without incentives
• incentives elicit performance
• commonality of interests
• COERCIVENESS: medium
• INTERVENTION: medium
• EXAMPLE: tax credits or grants
o 1-they rely on tangible and positive pay offs to encourage citizen from that type of province. Its
it not prohibitding the actions involved.
o Increasing your capacity to act.
o Valued goods might not emerges... Incentives might not get certain performance. Ppl want to do
something if u allow them to do so.
o Coerciveness: medium to low, in the sense that if we don’t chose to use the carrot, thats our
own choice, however if we don’t use it we have less benefits then those who chose to use it.
o Intervention: the state is identifying specific types of programs or options it prefers. Ex: fed gov
desire to decrease child obesity rates, taxes credits to fams to participate in sports are given to
deal with it.
• Authority tools to compel behaviour backed by sanctions
• People motivated to obey laws or can be compelled to act
• People will avoid actions that are costly
• Negative behaviours are choices that can be deterred
• COERCIVENESS: maximum
• INTERVENTION: high
• EXAMPLE: drug laws
o State using its legitimate authority to apply coercion on ppl. Putting ppl in prision
o Ex: parking in places u shouldn’t... you get a ticket if u do it, ppl will avoid actions that are costly,
so they wont park illegally cuz they don’t want a fine.
o Ex: drug laws... ppl would do lots of drug if there were not strict laws on their use. Drug laws
varies on what you are talking about. If you are caught outside a school selling to underage
children, you will have strict penalties. Distinction between social harm and individual harm...,
operating into black market, issue of protecting children, they are not as capable at making
decisions, easier to attract children then adults.
• Information provided to citizens and target populations
• If you know it, you will change
• No need for coercion – people can choose
• COERCIVENESS: minimal
• INTERVENTION: low
• EXAMPLE: Mothers Against Drunk Driving;
o Purely information based.
o If u know it, u will change ur behaviour.
o No need for coercion, if ppl know the information, they will act and make decisions.
o Ex: the graphics on cigarette packaging. Gov has the policy to put those pictures. Info on its own
isn’t enough to get ppl to stop tho, because the inner addiction takes power...