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Moving Working Families ForwardThird Way Policies That Can Work$
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Robert Cherry

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717189

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717189.001.0001

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Evaluating Targeted Policies

Evaluating Targeted Policies

(p.41) 3 Evaluating Targeted Policies
Moving Working Families Forward

Robert Cherry

Robert Lerman

NYU Press

This chapter explains how society cannot depend solely on macroeconomic expansions to solve problems of underemployment or to lift families out of near poverty—some targeted policies are required. One must judge the merits of any proposed policy by asking how well it concentrates on the benefits of the targeted population, while making sure that it does not have damaging effects on other groups. The chapter demonstrates how well-intentioned policies recommended by left liberals may not be targeted well enough, and may have unintended consequences or other defects that undermine their effectiveness. This is where conservative, market-oriented analysts sometimes have something important to offer. It is thus very important to judge the appropriateness of incorporating political and social considerations into policy decisions, especially when considering using financial incentives to encourage behavioral changes.

Keywords:   macroeconomic expansions, underemployment, targeted policies, left liberals, conservatives, market-oriented analysis

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