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Models and Public Policy Study Upul Abeyrathne, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Economics, University of Ruhuna, Matara.

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Presentation on theme: "Models and Public Policy Study Upul Abeyrathne, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Economics, University of Ruhuna, Matara."— Presentation transcript:

1 Models and Public Policy Study Upul Abeyrathne, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Economics, University of Ruhuna, Matara.

2 Development Project Metaphor Builders of Mega Development Project Builders construct a scaled-down model of the entire development projects to show beforehand what would the project looks like. Similarly, policy analysts employ conceptual tools that help us to visualize reality.

3 Utility of Conceptual Tools These mental construct allow us to better understand the formulation or implementation of public policy. We need some conception of reality to guide us our analysis. There are Two important mental constructs in policy study literature. i.e. Models and Typologies.

4 What is a model? A model is a simplified representation of some aspect of the real world (Thomas Dye, 1999, Understanding Public Policy, p. 18) Models Facilitate understanding and enhnace prediction (Moshe Robenstein, 1975, patterns of Problem Solving, p.19) A model provides us a “lay of the land” or graphical representation of some aspect of policy process.

5 Uses and Models establishes relationships among a number of determinants that are thought to cause some phenomenon. Thus, it helps us to see an abstraction of reality. Model may help us see a problem in a novel way or it may hinder and distort the reality.

6 There are many types of models to describe, explain or predicts elements of a particular phenomenon

7 Descriptive Models The purpose is to explain or predict the causes and consequence of the policy choices. E.g. Deciding the success of achievements by students. Does it depend on Family background or quality of faculty. This is the most common type of models in policy study literature.

8 Normative models The purpose is not only to describe, explain and predict but also to recommendations for the optimization of a particular value attainment. E.g. Prevention of hunger in the world.

9 Hard and Soft Models Hard Model symbolizes the actual phenomenon.Eg. Topographical map. It represents the actual geography of the landscape and is accurate with respect to reality. Soft Model is a representation of purely theoretical or hypothetical conceptual matters of imagined characteristics of some event of our concern.

10 Criteria for Evaluating Models A good models is like a good map. It guides us. Facilitate understanding.

11 Thomas Dyes suggestion of Criteria in Public policy Studies A model has to order and simplify political life so that we can think about it more clearly and understand the relationships in the real world. It should neither be so simple (Misunderstanding) nor it should be so complex(Confusion). It has to identify the most important aspects of Public Policy. It has to concern on the most salient aspects of a political phenomenon such as the causes and consequences of public policy and no be concerned with irrelevant variables or conditions.

12 Thomas Dyes suggestion of Criteria in Public policy Studies Model has to be congruent with reality. It has to have a strong relationship to the reality. It should no be idealized or unrelated to the real world. A good model has to communicate something meaningful in a way that we all can understand. Does it have intersubjective agreement. That is the concepts used in the model have to have understand by others. A model has to direct inquiry and research into public policy. A good model has to suggest testable relationships that can be observed, measured and verified.

13 Thomas Dyes suggestion of Criteria in Public policy Studies A good model has to suggest an explanation rather than merely describing a public policy.

14 Two Best Known Models : Elitist and Pluralist Elitist Model is based on the idea that public policy is result of the preferences and values of governing elite.

15 Summery of the Elite Model Society is divided into two group. A few have the power. Many do not have the power. Only a small number of person allocate values for society. Masses do not decide public policy. The few who govern are not typical of masses who are governed. Elites are drawn disproportionately from upper socioeconmic strata of Society

16 The process of non-elite becoming elite is slow. Non-elite who are accepted by the elite consensus can be admitted to governing circles. Elites share a basic consensus on behalf of the social system and the preservation of it. Public policy does not reflect demands of the masses but the values of the elite.

17 Active elites are subject to relatively little direct influences from apathetic masses. Elites influence masses more than masses influence the elite. Policy is directed from the top to bottom rather than the reverse. Power flows upwards. Decisions or policies flow downwards.

18 Pluralist Model Power is an attribute of individuals in their relationships with other individuals in the process of decision making. Power relationship does not necessarily persist; rather they are formed for a perticular decision. After this decision is made, they disappear to be replaced by a different set of power relationships when the next decision is made.

19 No permanent distinction exists between elites and masses. An individual who participated in the decision making process at one time may not participate at another time. Leadership is fluid and highly mobile. Wealth is an assets in politics. But it is not the only asset.

20 There are multiple centres and bases of power within a community. No Single group dominates in all issue areas. Considerable competition exists among leaders. Public policy is,thus, the results of of bargains and compromises reached among competing leadership groups.

21 Typologies A typology is a way of organising phenomena into discrete categories for systematic analysis.

22 Theodore Lowi’s Idea What was needed is a general framework that could convert discrete facts from case studies into a body of research that could be evaluated, weighed and cumulated. His main argument has been that a political relationship in policy making is determined by the type of policy at stake. Every type of policy has a distinctive type of political relationship. Thus, has identified three type of policies. i.e. Regulatory, Distributive and Re-distributive.

23 Regulative Policies They strive to limits the number of service providers or protect people by setting conditions under which services have to be provided. Hence various group get engage in conflict, bargaining and negotiation over who should win and who should lose.

24 Distributive Policies They aim at promoting private activities that are thought to be socially desirable through subsidies etc. This type of policy does not create winners or losers. There is no direct confrontation and everybody benefits. E.g. Education

25 Redistributive Policies An attempt to distribute wealth and other valued goods in society. It allocate benefits from one group to another. Ideological and involves class conflict.

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