Instructions for choosing policy 1-pager topic
I am asking you to hand in the topic early so I can reject unsuitable topics and get you to pick a
better one if necessary, and also so I can avoid a lot of people doing the same topic. I will only
give you a grade penalty if it is obvious your topic is unsuitable because you have put no time
into thinking about it.
You should propose introducing a new policy, amending an existing policy, or abolishing
an existing policy. By policy, I mean an action (law or regulation) by a government.
You should write out a sentence explaining what your policy proposal is, and specify
what micro concept or concepts will be used to analyze it; to make this concrete, also
list the subsection of the book that contains this concept e.g. Chapter 9 section 2.
The policy proposal should therefore be one suitable for theoretical analysis with our
intermediate micro tools, though if you want to teach yourself more about e.g. trade
theory on your own and use it, you may. Don’t introduce data/empirical considerations,
since we haven’t studied this.
Don’t pick a topic already explained in the textbook or by me, unless you have a
different angle on it e.g. flood insurance, minimum wage, rent control, electricity reform
There is a list of some possible topics below, but you are not limited to these. I haven’t
been very specific in this list – you will need to look into the topic more to find a policy
proposal. I haven’t thought through all of them enough to be sure they all have
associated suitable proposals.
To give you an idea of what you are aiming at for the final product (not due yet), see my
Policy decisions involve not only microeconomic analysis, but also subjective views. I will
grade the one-pager only on the objective analysis, not the subjective part. In my
example, I proposed extending the EITC to more people because I think the pros
outweighed the cons, but the same analysis could have been used for a proposal to
eliminate the EITC with the argument that the cons of EITC outweighed the pros.