Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance

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9780815731207: Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance
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The U.S. Constitution calls on the government to "promote the general welfare." In this provocative and innovative book, a distinguished roster of political scientists and economists evaluates its ability to carry out this task. The first section of the book analyzes government performance in the areas of health, transportation, housing, and education, suggesting why suboptimal policies often prevail. The second set of chapters examines two novel and sometimes controversial tools that can be used to improve policy design: information markets and laboratory experiments. Finally, the third part of the book asks how three key institutions—Congress, the party system, and federalism—affect government's ability to solve important social problems. These chapters also raise the disturbing possibility that recent political developments have contributed to a decline in governmental problem-solving activity. Taken together, the essays in this volume suggest that opportunities to promote the common good are frequently missed in modern American government. But the book also carries a more hopeful message. By identifying possible solutions to the problems created by weak incentives, poor information, and inadequate institutional capacity, Promoting the General Welfare shows how government performance can be improved. Contributors include Eugene Bardach (University of California-Berkeley), Sarah Binder (Brookings Institution and George Washington University), Morris P. Fiorina (Stanford University), Jay P. Greene (University of Arkansas), Robin Hanson (George Mason University), Charles A. Holt (University of Virginia), David R. Mayhew (Yale University), Edgar O. Olsen (University of Virginia), Mark Carl Rom (Georgetown University), Roberta Romano (Yale Law School), William M. Shobe (University of Virginia), Angela M. Smith (University of Virginia), Aidan R. Vining (Simon Fraser University), David L. Weimer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Clifford Winston (Brookings Institution).


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About the Author:



Alan S. Gerber is a professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of American Politics at Yale University. He has published extensively on campaigns and elections and is coeditor (with Eric Patashnik) of Promoting the General Welfare: New Perspectives on Government Performance (Brookings, 2006). Eric M. Patashnik is associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia and author of Putting Trust in the U.S Budget: Federal Trust Funds and the Politics of Commitment (Cambridge, 2000).


Review:

"Government sometimes addresses society's problems successfully, but more often it fails to do so. This thoughtful and insightful volume demonstrates the ability of social science not only to diagnose and provide perspective on instances of government failures, but also to suggest how government might even improve its performance." ¿Charles R. Shipan, University of Michigan



"An innovative and important book. It showcases how systematic political science and economics research can be used both to highlight governmental shortcomings and to come up with concrete ¿and realistic ¿solutions. I know of no other book that so effectively blends political science approaches and economic methods for assessing and improving governmental performance." ¿Eric Schickler, University of California¿Berkeley

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Book Description BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The U.S. Constitution calls on the government to "promote the general welfare." In this provocative and innovative book, a distinguished roster of political scientists and economists evaluates its ability to carry out this task. The first section of the book analyzes government performance in the areas of health, transportation, housing, and education, suggesting why suboptimal policies often prevail. The second set of chapters examines two novel and sometimes controversial tools that can be used to improve policy design: information markets and laboratory experiments. Finally, the third part of the book asks how three key institutions -Congress, the party system, and federalism -affect government's ability to solve important social problems. These chapters also raise the disturbing possibility that recent political developments have contributed to a decline in governmental problem-solving activity. Taken together, the essays in this volume suggest that opportunities to promote the common good are frequently missed in modern American government. But the book also carries a more hopeful message. By identifying possible solutions to the problems created by weak incentives, poor information, and inadequate institutional capacity, Promoting the General Welfare shows how government performance can be improved. Contributors include Eugene Bardach (University of California-Berkeley), Sarah Binder (Brookings Institution and George Washington University), Morris P. Fiorina (Stanford University), Jay P. Greene (University of Arkansas), Robin Hanson (George Mason University), Charles A. Holt (University of Virginia), David R. Mayhew (Yale University), Edgar O. Olsen (University of Virginia), Mark Carl Rom (Georgetown University), Roberta Romano (Yale Law School), William M. Shobe (University of Virginia), Angela M. Smith (University of Virginia), Aidan R. Vining (Simon Fraser University), David L. Weimer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Clifford Winston (Brookings Institution). Seller Inventory # AAN9780815731207

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Book Description BROOKINGS INSTITUTION, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The U.S. Constitution calls on the government to promote the general welfare. In this provocative and innovative book, a distinguished roster of political scientists and economists evaluates its ability to carry out this task. The first section of the book analyzes government performance in the areas of health, transportation, housing, and education, suggesting why suboptimal policies often prevail. The second set of chapters examines two novel and sometimes controversial tools that can be used to improve policy design: information markets and laboratory experiments. Finally, the third part of the book asks how three key institutions -Congress, the party system, and federalism -affect government s ability to solve important social problems. These chapters also raise the disturbing possibility that recent political developments have contributed to a decline in governmental problem-solving activity. Taken together, the essays in this volume suggest that opportunities to promote the common good are frequently missed in modern American government. But the book also carries a more hopeful message. By identifying possible solutions to the problems created by weak incentives, poor information, and inadequate institutional capacity, Promoting the General Welfare shows how government performance can be improved. Contributors include Eugene Bardach (University of California-Berkeley), Sarah Binder (Brookings Institution and George Washington University), Morris P. Fiorina (Stanford University), Jay P. Greene (University of Arkansas), Robin Hanson (George Mason University), Charles A. Holt (University of Virginia), David R. Mayhew (Yale University), Edgar O. Olsen (University of Virginia), Mark Carl Rom (Georgetown University), Roberta Romano (Yale Law School), William M. Shobe (University of Virginia), Angela M. Smith (University of Virginia), Aidan R. Vining (Simon Fraser University), David L. Weimer (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Clifford Winston (Brookings Institution). Seller Inventory # AAN9780815731207

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