PB454E Half Unit
Policy Appraisal and Ethics
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Prof Paul Dolan
This course is available on the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.
This course is one of two options.
This course aims to introduce students to the main concepts and tools of policy appraisal and yield insight into key moral and political values that are essential for policy-makers when they draw on behavioural science. The course covers the following topics: 1) Architecture of Cost-benefit analysis for market and non-market goods; 2) Elicitation of monetary values through revealed and stated preference methods, and adjustments for time discounting, risk and uncertainty; 3) Welfare analysis of policy interventions: efficiency, equity and asymmetric paternalism; 4) Evaluating welfare beyond monetary choices: the subjective well-being approach to valuation; 5) Moral problems associated with libertarian paternalism or Nudge, and how this approach compares to other policy mechanisms, such as regulation, taxation and subsidies, and social advertisement. The course offers practical examples and applications to key policy sectors, such as health and the environment.
17 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 5 hours of seminars in the LT.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.
• HM Treasury (2011) The Green Book: Appraisal and policy evaluation in central government. London, UK.
• Gruber J. and Koszegi B. (2008) A Modern Economic View of Tobacco Taxation. Paris: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
• Cohen P., Hahn R., Hall J., Levitt S., and Metcalfe R. (2016) Using Big Data to Estimate Consumer Surplus: The Case of Uber, NBER Working Paper.
• Gibbons S. and Machin S. (2003) Valuing English Primary Schools. Journal of Urban Economics, 53, 197-219.
• Atkinson G. et al. (2008). Are We Willing to Pay Enough to ‘Back the Bid’? Urban Studies, 45, 419-444.
• Carson, R. (2012). Contingent Valuation: A Practical Alternative When Prices Aren’t Available. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26, 27-42.
• Diamond P.A. and Hausman J.A. (1994), “Contingent valuation: Is some number better than no number?” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8: 45-64.
• Dolan P. (2011). Thinking about health and valuing QALYs. Health Economics, 20, 1407- 1416.
• Dolan P. & Kahneman D. (2008) Interpretations of utility and their implications for the valuation of health. Economic Journal, 118, 215-234.
• Gruber, J.H., and Mullainathan S. (2005), “Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?”, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Advances 5 (1): 1-43.
• Bovens, L. (2008) The Ethics of Nudge. In: Grune-Yanoff, Till and Hansson, Sven Ove (eds.) Preference Change: Approaches from Philosophy, Economics and Psychology. Theory and Decision Library. A (42). Springer, 207-19.
• Wolff, J. (2011) Ethics and Public Policy: A Philosophical Inquiry. Routledge.
Coursework (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.
Student performance results
(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Total students 2017/18: Unavailable
Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable
Controlled access 2017/18: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Commercial awareness
- Specialist skills