Ethics and Policy Analysis
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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In discussions of ethics and policy analysis, two questions are important to distinguish. One question concerns the fundamental ethical assumption that underlies policy analysis, is taken for granted by the institutions that sponsor the analyses, and accepted usually without examination by the people who perform them. The second ethical question concerns the choice of appropriate values, objectives, goals, and constraints to be adopted in specific policy studies. Expressed in more formal language, what should be the arguments in the utility function that is to be maximized What should be the studys maximand For example, should the appropriate goal or objective of a program or policy be to maximize total income ignoring distributional consequences, or rather to maximize the income gains or the opportunities of a particular group for example, the poor, the aged, minorities, etc., or to maximize a particular type of benefit e.g., say, housing, or education, or nutrition, or clean air for all, or for a particular group This paper will deal primarily with the second question.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law