PS 340 Models and Policy Analysis
You will assess existing policies or policy options and formulate your own policies with the assistance of the International Futures Simulation computer model. You will also learn about research design as you develop, interpret, apply and describe your own data.
Microsoft Excel v.97. A very graphics oriented spreadsheet. Installed on the network.
Corel's WordPerfect for Windows v. 7. A graphics oriented word processor. Installed on the network.
Microsoft Word for Windows v. 97. A very graphics oriented word processor. Installed on the network.
Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows v. 97. Presentation software.
Frank Fischer(1995) Evaluating Public Policy, Nelson-Hall Publishers
Joan E. Spero and Jeffrey A. Hart (1997) The Politics of International Economics, 5th edition, St. Martin's Press.
Barry Hughes (1999) International Futures: Choices in the Creation of a New World Order, 3rd edition, Westview Press-Harper Collins.
The texts by Fischer and Hughes will be used to develop an analytic framework for your policy analyses. The text by Spero and Hart will provide political economy information and some possible case studies for the course.
Schedule and Assignments
The course will start off with some preliminary scenarios provided in Hughes' text. These will be used to acquaint you with the IFs model. While you're learning about the model you should also be thinking about a scenario you would like to develop. Most of the course will be devoted to the development of the scenario.
The unstructured nature of the course plus the operational unpredictability of hardware and software makes it impossible to set specific target dates. The first couple of weeks will be devoted to learning how to use IFs, Excel, the word processors and PowerPoint, how to develop a policy analysis, and the choice of the first project. Target dates for the conclusion of each project will be determined as we proceed through the course. With regard to the scenario, you will build one upon the other, moving toward greater complexity and sophistication as you go.
Class meetings will be held twice a week. Initially the meetings will focus on policy analysis in general, the methodology for policy analysis, and the conceptualization of the projects. We will also discuss any hardware or software issues. Later on, the meetings will be used for discussion of the progress and results of the scenarios.
See me about problems with hardware or software or contact Information Resources' response team for network or hardware problems.
|Aug. 30||Introduction to the course|
|Sept. 1||Introduction to IFs and Some Simple Concepts About Policy Making and Policy Evaluation. Overview of the IFs model: sectors, parameters, variables, time lines, subgroups, change, output/results, and interpretation.|
|Sept. 6-8||Introduction to Excel, word processing, and PowerPoint.|
|Sept. 13-15||Hughes: Chapters 1 - 3. Review the variables and parameters in the handout and Help file. Examine the model by exploring at least two of the research questions for the model's sectors in Chapter 3.|
|Sept. 20-22||Fischer: Chapters 1-3. Introduction to public policy and policy evaluation. Spero and Hart: Chapters 1-2. Overview of the global economy.|
|Sept. 27-29||Run two of the seven Research Question scenarios in Chapter 3. IFs Model: Using the two research questions you examined, provide a basic analysis of the results and bring your output to class. We will review each of the questions and the results. Overview of Independent and Dependent variables and they are used in the analysis of trends.|
|Oct. 4||Introduction to aggregate data: Using aggregate data from files created with IFs and developing some graphs that provide a schematic of the data by displaying trends over time.|
|Oct 11||Reading Day - No Class|
|Oct. 6 & 13||Hughes: Chapters 4-5. Fischer: Chapters 4, 6-7. Spero and Hart:
Developing A Scenario: Choose a policy issue and begin to prepare a simple scenario with just a few independent and dependent variables. Identify the policy or policies you are going to use to test the relationship. Establish the premises for choosing the variables in terms of the relationship you want to explore. Identify the variables. Indicate the changes you're going to make to the independent variables and link these to the policies. Provide an analysis of the policy, the trends, and the relationships. Indicate whether or not the policy was a success and, insofar as you're able to, why. Include the data, before and after changes to the independent variables, for both sets of variables. Provide a graph or two to illustrate the trends. We will review each of the analyses in class.
|Oct. 18-20||Hughes: Chapters 6-7. Fischer: Chapters 8-10. Spero and Hart: Chapters
Scenario Choice: Choose a subject that you want to pursue for the rest of the term. It may be a replication of a previous study; a replication of an event that was caused by certain types of decisions or policies, or resulted in the formulation and implementation of policies; or the testing of a range of policy assumptions (forecasting) regarding a specific issue.
Research the subject thoroughly. Make sure you choose enough dependent and independent variables. Provide an outline for the analysis that clearly identifies your research objectives and how you intend to achieve them. Develop your analysis using data and schematics.
|Oct. 25||Discussion of the Scenario Choices|
|Oct. 27 & Nov. 1||Preliminary runs and discussion of issues within the scenario.|
|Nov. 3-8||Report: Submit a written preliminary report of your project and present an oral report (PowerPoint) in class. We will critique your research, including all premises, choices of variables and parameters, changes and time lines, at this time. The next stage of your analysis will include the suggestions made and accepted during this review.|
|Nov. 10-15||Second Preliminary Report: Submit the revised analysis in writing and present an oral report (PowerPoint) in class.|
|Nov. 17-22||Final discussion of preliminary results.|
|Nov. 24-28 Thanksgiving Recess|
|Nov. 29, Dec. 1,6,8||Reports of findings . You will present a PowerPoint report of your findings to the rest of the class. Class discussion will focus on the results of each of the projects.|
|Dec. 14 Last day to hand in completed project.|