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Laboratory Experiments in Teaching Public Economics and Policy

Abstract

This paper deals with classroom experiments in economics, which have been derived from laboratory experiments. These experiments cover a broad range of topics, from strictly economic ones (like market games or auctions) to those with overlaps to other domains such as public policy. The paper discusses different methodologies of research and classroom experiments, introduces the benefits of the latter and presents a concrete teaching experiment used in public economics courses at the Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University. Another link between economic experiments and public policy is outlined here as well, namely the importance of experimental results for public policy makers.

Open access
A policy fiasco: The institutional (non-)reform of Czech public employment services in 2011

Abstract

The article deals with an institutional reform of public employment services implemented in the Czech Republic in 2011. By merging social benefits administration with employment services into the newly established Labour Office of the Czech Republic, the right-wing government attempted to reduce the staffing and administrative costs of these services and to improve the governance of local labour offices. Using the theoretical concept of “policy fiasco” and taking an interpretive perspective thereon, we analyse these organisational changes in the functioning of public employment services in the Czech Republic. Our data consist of interviews with experts on labour market policy in the Czech Republic and two focus groups with employees of labour offices who had participated in the reform process. We conclude that the institutional reform of public employment services in the Czech Republic in 2011 can be referred to as a policy fiasco in the sense of the theoretical concept used in the work of Bovens and t’Hart (1998).

Open access
Public Policy Programmes and Policy Analysis Instruction in the Czech Republic

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to provide the first systematic review of instruction in public policy programmes (PPP) in the Czech Republic and examine the role and nature of policy analysis therein. First, the Czech higher education system is briefly described. Second, an overview of PPP in the Czech Republic is provided. This analysis is based upon a publicly available list of degree programmes accredited by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, an internet search, e-mail correspondence with public policy and policy analysis instructors, and syllabuses. It is shown that while a diverse set approaches is used, the classical “positivist” perspective is clearly dominant. Third, using survey data (N = 192) we analyse the views of Public and Social Policy graduates on the importance of competences in practice and the quality of actually learnt competences. Last, preliminary conclusions on public policy/policy analysis instruction in the Czech Republic are discussed. It is shown that public policy instruction is rather fragmented and is institutionalized under different disciplines. The respondents were most satisfied with gaining skills in the areas of policy analysis, ability to orient oneself and acquire new knowledge, and strategic and analytical thinking. In contrast, they were least satisfied with acquiring organizational skills, practical professional experience and skills, and computer literacy.

Open access