1. Construct constitutive and operational definitions for any three (3) of the following actions and outcome variables:
|Program expenditure||Equality of educational opportunity|
|Personnel turnover||National security|
|Health services||Work incentives|
|Quality of life||Pollution|
|Satisfaction with municipal services||Energy consumption|
|Income distribution||Rapport with clients|
2. Identify three (3) policy problems listed below and determine an appropriate indicator or index that would help determine whether each of the identified problems are being solved through government action. Justify your position on each.
|Work alienation||School dropouts|
|Energy crisis||Fiscal crisis|
3. Construct valid rebuttals to the following argument using at least four (4) threats to validity: (B) The greater the cost of an alternative, the less likely it is that the alternative will be pursued. (W) The enforcement of the maximum speed limit of 55 mph increases the costs of exceeding the speed limit. (I) The mileage death rate fell from 4.3 to 3.6 deaths per 100 million miles after the implementation of the 55-mph speed limit. (C) The 55-mph speed limit (National Speed Law of 1973) has been definitely successful in saving lives.
Invalidity. A policy prescription is based on an invalid assumption about the causal relation between a policy and its outcomes. For example, debates about the efficacy of the 55 mph speed limit (National Maximum Speed Law of 1973) have focused on the extent to which enforcing a maximum speed on all intercity highways is responsible for the observed decline in traffic fatalities after 1973. The claim that the new maximum speed (55 mph) was responsible for the decline of 9,800 fatalities between 1973 and 1975 has been challenged on grounds that the decline was due to the new compressed range or standard deviation of speeds; improvements in automobile and highway safety; the interaction of maximum speed with population density; and the effects of recession, unemployment, and declining gasoline prices on miles driven and, consequently, fatality rates.35
■Inefficiency. Estimates of the net efficiency benefits of the 55 mph speed limit vary markedly, depending on the value attached to human lives and the costs of time lost by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph. One estimate of net efficiency benefits is $2.3 billion; another is minus $3.4 billion.36
■Ineffectiveness. Estimates of the cost-effectiveness of the 55 mph speed limit also vary markedly. The costs per fatality averted range from approximately $1,300 to $21,000, depending on assumptions about what should be included as costs and benefits.37
■Exclusion. The exclusion of legitimate costs and benefits will produce implausibly high or low net efficiency benefits. For example, costs of time lost by driving at 55 mph or benefits in the form of the monetary value of human lives may be excluded.
■Unresponsiveness. The costs of time and other resources are often based on assumptions that individuals would be willing to pay the average wage rate to engage in a time-saving activity. The average wage rate is typically unresponsive to the price individuals are actually willing to pay. For example, approximately half of drivers are engaged in recreational activities, not commerce or business. The average wage rate, which markedly increases the estimated costs of the 55 mph speed limit, is therefore unresponsive to the perceived costs of driving at 55 mph.