Master's Program in Public Policy and Administration Master’s Program in Urban Land Development

Topics: Economics, Policy, Public policy Pages: 9 (2401 words) Published: December 18, 2012



FALL 2009

Professor: Rob Wassmer, Ph.D.


Home Page:

Office: Room 3037, Tahoe Hall

Class Location:  Wednesday, 6 - 8:50 p.m., 1011 Academic Resource Center (ARC) The classroom presentation is also available as a re-broadcast on SacCT two days after live meeting. Everyone needs to attend (in person) the first class meeting on September 2.

Office Phone: (916) 278-6304

Office Hours: Wednesday, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.; and by appointment if necessary

Required Texts:

(1) Analyzing Policy: Choices, Conflicts, and Practices, 2000, Michael C. Munger, Norton (denoted as “Policy”), available for purchase at Sac State Bookstore or on web at Amazon.Com;

(2) A Practical Guide to Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, Eugene Bardach, Third Edition, CQ Press, (denoted as “Practical”), available for purchase at Sac State bookstore or on web at Amazon.Com.

On July 21, 2009, the total price for these books at Amazon.Com was $54 for new copies and $24 for used copies.

Required Internet Learning Package:

We will be using web-based and interactive learning modules on introductory microeconomics available at . Go to this web site and click the “New Student” link and enter “Course Key” 75HH-KB2V-S42C. Continue following the instructions to complete your registration. The registration cost is $35.00.

I suggest you complete this registration ASAP, and begin working on the Aplia assignments that are later described under the weekly schedule. Aplia allows you to revisit questions and change answers up to the time it is due. Once the clock strikes the time that an assignment is due, answers are final (including not doing it) and a score will be recorded. You have been given plenty of early warning on all assignments, there will be no exceptions allowed for the acceptance of late assignments.

Course Objectives:

The Department of Public Policy and Administration has established seven learning objectives for this course that are a part of a broader set of learning objectives for those who earn a MPPA or MSULD. These fall under four categories and are:

- Critical Thinking

(1) Problem definition: Understand the appropriateness of beginning a policy analysis by first defining the policy problem in a statement that does not include solution option(s) to the “true” policy problem.

(2) Delineation and evaluation of options: Understand the desirability of offering multiple solution options to a policy problem and evaluating these options in terms of criteria that include at least measures of efficiency and equity.

- Integrative Thinking

(3) Techniques of policy analysis: Understand that wisdom to be drawn upon in making policy decisions comes from the market, experts, and politics; that this wisdom is usually conflicted from two of the sources, and mitigated by the third source (as illustrated by Munger’s triangle).

(4) Economic concepts and analysis: Understand the important role that economic concepts (supply, demand, markets, perfect competition, monopoly, consumer and producer surplus, externalities, public goods, etc.) and thinking (rational prioritization, marginal analysis, equilibrium, probability, time discounting, benefit/cost, “bang for the buck, etc.) play in policy analysis.

- Understanding Professional Role

(5) Role of public sector in democratic/market system: Understand that even competitive market systems can “fail” under certain circumstances (related to market structure, externalities, public goods, and information asymmetry), that a market system offers no guarantee that an outcome is viewed as “equitable”...
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