# Discuss the relationship between ill-structured problems and approaches to monitoring

Discuss the relationship between ill-structured problems and approaches to monitoring

Review Questions

1. How is monitoring related to forecasting?

2. discuss the relationship between ill-structured problems and approaches to monitoring?

3. Construct constitutive and operational definitions for any five of the following variables:

Program expenditure

Equality of educational opportunity

Personnel turnover

National security

Health services

Work incentives

Quality of life

Pollution

Satisfaction with municipal services

Energy consumption

Income distribution

Rapport with clients

4. Listed below are several policy problems. For five of these problems, provide an indicator or index that would help determine whether these problems are being resolved through government action.

Work alienation

School dropouts

Crime

Poverty

Energy crisis

Fiscal crisis

Inflation

Illegal immigration

5. The following table reports the number of criminal offenses known to the police per 100,000 persons. Known offenses are broken down into two categories—total crimes against person and total crimes against property— over the period 1965–1989. Construct two curved-line graphs that display trends in crime rates over the period. Label the two graphs appropriately. What do these graphs suggest about policy outcomes?

Table 6.22

Crimes Committed in the United States: Offenses Known to Police per 100,000 Persons, 1985–2009

6. Mayor Rudy Giuliani often claims credit for the reduction of violent crimes during the period in which he was Mayor of New York City (1994–2001). After examining your graph for violent crimes in the United States, construct an interrupted time-series graph for New York City that shows the start and end of Giuliani’s term in office. To what extent is New York City’s drop in murders similar to the drop in violent crime in the country as a whole (Question 5)? Why? Does Giuliani deserve credit?

Table 6.23

Murders in New York City, 1985–2009

7. In the following table are data on the percentage distribution of family income by quintiles in 1975 and 1989. Use these data to construct two Lorenz curves that depict changes in the distribution of income between 1975 and 1989. Label the two curves and the two axes.

Table 6.24

Percentage Distribution of Family Personal Income in the United States by Quintiles, 1975, 1989, 2006, 2015

Quintiles

1975

1989

2006

2015

Highest

41.0

46.7

52.1

51.1

Second

24.0

24.0

20.3

23.2

Third

17.6

15.9

14.3

14.3

Fourth

12.0

9.6

9.5

8.2

Lowest

5.4

3.8

4.7

3.1

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-60.

8. Calculate the Gini concentration ratio for 1975 and 2015 data in review question 7. What do the Lorenz curves and Gini coefficients suggest about poverty as a policy problem? If poverty and other problems are “artificial” and “subjective,” how valid is the information displayed by the Lorenz curves? Why?

Year

Average Monthly Benefit

Consumer Price Index (1982–1984 = 100)

1970

$183.13

38.8

1975

$219.44

53.8

1980

$280.03

82.4

1985

$342.15

107.6

1988

$374.07

118.3

9. Policy issue: Should average monthly benefits paid to mothers under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program be increased? Prepare a policy memo that answers this question. Before writing the memo:

1. Prepare a purchasing power index for all years in the series, using 1970 as the base year.

2. Convert the average monthly benefits into real benefits for these years.

3. Repeat the same procedures, using 1980 as the base year.

10. Imagine that you are examining the effects of ten scholarship awards on the subsequent performance of disadvantaged youths in college. There are fewer awards than applicants, and awards must be based on merit. Therefore, it is not possible to provide all disadvantaged students with awards, nor is it politically feasible to select students randomly because this conflicts with the principle of merit. You decide to allocate the ten awards according to the following rules: No student will receive an award without scoring at least 86 on the examination; five awards will be given automatically to the top students in the 92–100 interval; and the remaining five awards will be given to a random sample of students in the 86–91 interval. One year later, you obtain information on the grade point averages of the ten award students and ten other disadvantaged students who did not receive an award. You have college entrance examination scores for all twenty students. Does the provision of scholarship awards to disadvantaged students improve subsequent achievement in college?

Award Group

Nonaward Group

Examination Scores

Grade Point Average

Examination Scores

Grade Point Average

99

3.5

88

3.2

97

3.9

89

3.2

94

3.4

90

3.3

92

3.0

86

3.0

92

3.3

91

3.5

86

3.1

85

3.1

90

3.3

81

3.0

89

3.2

79

2.8

88

3.2

84

3.0

91

3.4

80

2.6

1. Construct a regression-discontinuity graph that displays examination scores and grade point averages for the award and non-award groups. Use Xs and Os to display data points for the experimental (X) and control (O) groups.

2. Construct a worksheet and compute for each group the values of a and b in the equation Yc = a + b(X).

3. For each group, write the regression equation that describes the relation between merit (examination scores) and subsequent achievement (grade point averages).

4. Compute the standard error of estimate at the 95 percent estimation interval (i.e., two standard errors) for each group.

5. Compute r2 and r.

6. Interpret information contained in (a) through (e) and answer the question: Does the provision of scholarship awards to disadvantaged students improve subsequent achievement in college? Justify your answer.

11. Subtract 0.5 from each student’s grade point average in the nonaward (control) group.

1. Does the Y intercept change for the control group? Why?

2. Does the slope of the regression line change for the control group? Why?

3. Does the standard error of estimate change for the control group? Why?

4. Do r2 and r change for the control group? Why?

5. What do your answers show about the appropriateness of correlation and regression analysis for problems where pretest and posttest scores are highly correlated?

6. What, then, are the special advantages of regression-discontinuity analysis?

12. Using at least four threats to validity, construct rebuttals to the following argument: (B) The greater the cost of an alternative, the less likely it is that the alternative will be pursued. (W) The enforcement of the maximum speed limit of 55 mph increases the costs of exceeding the speed limit. (I) The mileage death rate fell from 4.3 to 3.6 deaths per 100 million miles after the implementation of the 55 mph speed limit. (C) The 55 mph speed limit (National Maximum Speed Law of 1973) has been definitely successful in saving lives. Study Figure 6.12 before you begin.