Guidelines for writing a policy report
1 What do you write about in the report?
The report is a group assignment. They should be written by teams consisting two students. Imagine that you and your teammate are economic advisors to an Australian Parliament Member (MP). The PMs are expected to have a good understanding of a wide range of economics policies - their desirability, implementation in various countries, how they currently work in Australia and if and how they could be improved upon. Of course the role of MP is a very busy one involving meetings, debates, writing draft laws, etc., and may leave not enough time for economic research.
Your job as economic advisors in this assignment is to write a short report (up to 4 pageswritten in font 11, with 1.5 spacing and generous margins) which would inform an MP about key aspects of a particular labour market policy. The list of policies you can choose from is given in Section 3 of this Instruction. You can also choose to write about a policy that is not on the list, but please consult with Olena first. Your report should aim to address the following points, where possible:
- How prevalent is the policy in various countries of the world?What are the similarities and differences in implementation of this policy across the world?
- Discuss the theoretical effects of this policy on labour market using graphs and equations where appropriate.
- Summarise key empirical findings about the effects of the policy on labour market outcomes internationally
- Why does this policy exist?Who benefits from this policy?
- In what form is this policy implemented in Australia? Summarise key details of implementation of this policy in Australia. How does Australia compare to the countries you discuss in point 1?
- What is the state of the current public debate regarding this policy in Australia and are there any changes planned or proposed?
- Do you think that the Australian implementation of this policy can be improved upon? If yes, propose and motivate your improvements. If no, explain why.
2. What should you read before attempting the report?
The key reading for the reports is the relevant chapter from the Tito Boeri and Jan can Ours book “The Economics of Imperfect Labor markets” (referencedon the next page). You will see that the chapters in this book are structured in a similar way that is expected of your reports, they are just longer and have more information. There are sections in the Ehrenberg and Smith textbook “Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy” that are also quite useful. These two sources should be sufficient for addressing points 1 through 4 for most policies. For information about Australian implementationsome academic and newspaper articleswill be posted in the folder named after the policies where they are relevant.You are also encouraged to use any othermaterials to supplement these suggested readings.
The full reference to Boeri and Jan van Ours book:
Boeri, Tito and van Ours, Jan. 2013. The Economics of Imperfect LaborMarkets.Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
The book ison 2-hour library reserve in UTS library.
3. Which policies can you write about?
Suggested Policies and relevant chapters in Boeri and van Ours:
Minimum wages- Boeri and van Ours Chapter 2
Anti- discrimination policies - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 4
Regulation of working hours - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 5
Migration Policies - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 9
Unemployment benefits - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 11
Child care subsidies and parental leave - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 7
Payroll Taxes - Boeri and van Ours Chapter 13
You can also choose to write about a policy that is not on this list, but please consult with Olena first.
4. How should your report be organised?
The report should have the following structure:
Cover Sheet (page 1 of these guidelins)
Text of the Report (4 pages in 11-point sized font, generous margins and 1.5 spacing)
List of references (e.g. books, articles, newspaper articles) that you used for preparation of your report
The list of references should follow the following general rules: (1) Every work cited in the report must be included in the list of references; (2) Every item in the reference list must be mentioned in the report; (3) The reference list must be in alphabetical order. There are many different systems of referencing – you need to choose one (e.g., The American Economic Review) and use it consistently. See examples of the AER referencing format below:
Article, single author: Last name, First name. Year. "Article Title." Journal name Volume: pages.
Article, multiple authors: Last name, First name, First name Last name, and First name Last name. Year. "Article Title." Journal name Volume: pages.
Book, single author: Last name, First name. Year. Book title. City: Publisher.
5. How will your report be evaluated?
The report should be well-written, coherent, technically accurate and carefully proof-read. It will be evaluated based on the quality of writing and its ability to address the points in Section 1 of these Guidelines. A single mark out of maximum 100 will be awarded to both authors of the report. Please read the statement onplagiarism below.
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