Spring 2020  |  PA 5022 Section 003: Applications of Economics for Policy Analysis -- Economics of Social Insurance Programs (65477)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Class Attributes:
Topics Course
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/21/2020 - 05/04/2020
Tue, Thu 11:15AM - 12:30PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 60
Enrollment Status:
Open (22 of 30 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Application of economic reasoning to a wide range of contemporary public policy issues. The following topically-focused courses also fulfill the MPP economics requirement: PA 5431: Public Policies on Work and Pay, PA 5503: Economics of Development, PA 5521: Development Planning and Policy Analysis, PA 5722: Economics of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, and PA 5805: Global Economics. prereq: 5021 or equiv
Class Notes:
Class Description:

This class will introduce you to the Economics of Social Insurance Programs. It begins by introducing a framework to evaluate the efficiency and equity of social insurance programs. It then applies this framework to health insurance, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, welfare and the EITC, and social security.

Application of economic reasoning to various public policy issues. Cost-benefit analysis, nonmarket valuation, and tax analysis. prereq:
[[5021 or equiv], public policy major] or instr consent Student may contact the instructor or department for information.
Learning Objectives:

Students in this module will learn to:

understand and critique the main economic rationales for current social insurance programs,

understand trade-offs in the design of social insurance programs between providing risk protection and promoting efficient efforts to avoid losses,

read and evaluate current empirical research on the impacts of social insurance programs

construct written and oral arguments for specific policy reforms
Class Attendance + Participation: It is important that you attend each class and make an effort to participate constructively in class discussion. Repeated absences from classes can have a negative effect on your overall grade.

Problem Sets (15%): I will assign three problem sets that cover the material in the first part of the class. You may work in groups on these problem sets, but you must write up the answers in your own. You will receive a grade of check, check minus, or check plus for these problem sets.

In-Class Quiz (25%): There will be an in-class quiz covering the material in the first part of the class.

In-Class Presentations: You will be asked to work in a group to lead class discussion of a current policy reform proposal in the areas of health insurance, unemployment insurance, welfare reform, and social security reform. These presentations will not be graded, but will help guide you in writing your policy memos. Failure to complete one of these presentations can have a negative impact on your grade.

Short policy memos (40%): You will write two short policy memos that present an argument for or against one of the proposals discussed in class. Each memo must be 3-5 pages, double spaced.

Final Group Projects (20%)

Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/hanra003_PA5022_Spring2019.docx (Spring 2019)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/hanra003_PA5022_Spring2018.pdf (Spring 2018)
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/hanra003_PA5022_Spring2016.docx (Spring 2016)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
16 November 2017

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