Uncontrolled

The Surprising Payoff of Trial-and-Error for Business, Politics, and Society

Author: Jim Manzi

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465029310

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 603

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How do we know which social and economic policies work, which should be continued, and which should be changed? Jim Manzi argues that throughout history, various methods have been attempted—except for controlled experimentation. Experiments provide the feedback loop that allows us, in certain limited ways, to identify error in our beliefs as a first step to correcting them. Over the course of the first half of the twentieth century, scientists invented a methodology for executing controlled experiments to evaluate certain kinds of proposed social interventions. This technique goes by many names in different contexts (randomized control trials, randomized field experiments, clinical trials, etc.). Over the past ten to twenty years this has been increasingly deployed in a wide variety of contexts, but it remains the red-haired step child of modern social science. This is starting to change, and this change should be encouraged and accelerated, even though the staggering complexity of human society creates severe limits to what social science could be realistically expected to achieve. Randomized trials have shown, for example, that work requirements for welfare recipients have succeeded like nothing else in encouraging employment, that charter school vouchers have been successful in increasing educational attainment for underprivileged children, and that community policing has worked to reduce crime, but also that programs like Head Start and Job Corps, which might be politically attractive, fail to attain their intended objectives. Business leaders can also use experiments to test decisions in a controlled, low-risk environment before investing precious resources in large-scale changes – the philosophy behind Manzi's own successful software company. In a powerful and masterfully-argued book, Manzi shows us how the methods of science can be applied to social and economic policy in order to ensure progress and prosperity.
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Show Me the Evidence

Obama's Fight for Rigor and Results in Social Policy

Author: Ron Haskins,Greg Margolis

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 0815725701

Category: Political Science

Page: 319

View: 1076

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The first comprehensive history of the Obama administration's evidence-based initiatives. From its earliest days, the Obama administration planned and enacted several initiatives to fund social programs based on rigorous evidence of success. Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis tell the story of six—spanning preschool and K-12 education, teen pregnancy, employment and training, health, and community-based programs. Readers will appreciate the fast-moving descriptions of the politics and policy debates that shaped these federal programs and the analysis of whether they will truly reshape federal social policy and greatly improve its impacts on the nation's social problems. Based on interviews with 134 individuals (including advocates, officials at the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council, Congressional staff, and officials in the federal agencies administering the initiatives) as well as Congressional and administration documents and news accounts, the authors examine each of the six initiatives in separate chapters. The story of each initiative includes a review of the social problem the initiative addresses; the genesis and enactment of the legislation that authorized the initiative; and the development of the procedures used by the administration to set the evidence standard and evaluation requirements—including the requirements for grant applications and awarding of grants.
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Achieving Regulatory Excellence

Author: Cary Coglianese

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 0815728433

Category: Political Science

Page: 260

View: 3530

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Whether striving to protect citizens from financial risks, climate change, inadequate health care, or the uncertainties of the emerging “sharing” economy, regulators must routinely make difficult judgment calls in an effort to meet the conflicting demands that society places on them. Operating within a political climate of competing demands, regulators need a lodestar to help them define and evaluate success. Achieving Regulatory Excellence provides that direction by offering new insights from law, public administration, political science, sociology, and policy sciences on what regulators need to do to improve their performance. Achieving Regulatory Excellence offers guidance from leading international experts about how regulators can set appropriate priorities and make sound, evidence-based decisions through processes that are transparent and participatory. With increasing demands for smarter but leaner government, the need for sound regulatory capacity—for regulatory excellence—has never been stronger. In addition to chapters by editor Cary Coglianese, and a foreword by Jim Ellis, president and chief executive officer of the Alberta Energy Regulator, contributors include Robert Baldwin (London School of Economics and Political Science), John Braithwaite (Australian National University), Angus Corbett (University of Pennsylvania), Daniel Esty (Yale University), Adam Finkel (University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan), Ted Gayer (Brookings Institution), John Graham (Indiana University), Neil Gunningham (Australian National University), Kathryn Harrison (University of British Columbia), Bridget Hutter (London School of Economics and Political Science), Howard Kunreuther (Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania), David Levi-Faur (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Shelley H. Metzenbaum (Volcker Alliance), Donald P. Moynihan (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Paul R. Noe (American Forest and Paper Association), Gaurav Vasisht (Volcker Alliance), David Vogel (University of California–Berkeley), and Wendy Wagner (University of Texas School of Law).
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A Time for Choosing

Free Enterprise in Twenty-First Century Britain

Author: T. NA,The Free Enterprise Group

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137482575

Category: Political Science

Page: 175

View: 7007

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In the twenty-first century, Britain faces new challenges from disruptive technology, an ever more competitive world and an ageing population. Structured around a radical manifesto for free enterprise, A Time for Choosing offers a significant contribution to the public debate about the future direction of Britain's government.
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The Cure in the Code

How 20th Century Law is Undermining 21st Century Medicine

Author: Peter W. Huber

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0465069819

Category: Law

Page: 304

View: 7535

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Never before have two revolutions with so much potential to save and prolong human life occurred simultaneously. The converging, synergistic power of the biochemical and digital revolutions now allows us to read every letter of life's code, create precisely targeted drugs to control it, and tailor their use to individual patients. Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and countless other killers can be vanquished—if we make full use of the tools of modern drug design and allow doctors the use of modern data gathering and analytical tools when prescribing drugs to their patients. But Washington stands in the way, clinging to outdated drug-approval protocols developed decades ago during medicine's long battle with the infectious epidemics of the past. Peter Huber, an expert in science, technology, and public policy, demonstrates why Washington's one-size-fits-all drug policies can't deal with diseases rooted in the complex molecular diversity of human bodies. Washington is ill-equipped to handle the torrents of data that now propel the advance of molecular medicine and is reluctant to embrace the statistical methods of the digital age that can. Obsolete economic policies, often rationalized as cost-saving measures, stifle innovation and suppress investment in the medicine that can provide the best cures at the lowest cost. In the 1980s, an AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence, until the FDA loosened its throttling grip and began streamlining and accelerating approval of life-saving drugs. The Cure in the Code shows patients, doctors, investors, and policy makers what we must now do to capture the full life-saving and cost-saving potential of the revolution in molecular medicine. America has to choose. At stake for America is the power to lead the world in mastering the most free, fecund, competitive, dynamic, and intelligent natural resource on the planet—the molecular code that spawns human life and controls our health.
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