1,273 research outputs found

    The Regulatory Component of Health Care Reform

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    Explains the rationales and goals of regulatory intervention. Assesses the likelihood that proposed changes to regulations will be implemented as a component of healthcare reform or that they will help control costs and improve efficiency

    The Economics of Scholarly Publications and the Information Superhighway

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    This article examines the basic economics of scholarly publications, especially technical journals, and applies this model to the consequences of low-cost electronic publication. The article discusses the demand for scholarly publication: dissemination of new information to students, other researchers and professional users outside the educational community; reputation development by scholars and research institutions; and the evaluation of research personnel by peerds and superiors. The key supply feature of scholarely publication is that some uses are public goods, and others have strong economies of scale. Electronic publication reduces duplication and storage costs, but does not have much of an effect on fixed costs, and so is a minor technological change purely from the perspective of costs. However, electronic publication is a major change in two respects: it radically alters the relative costs of enhancements to straight textual material, and so may change the content of publications, and it dramatically reduces the cost of unauthorized duplication. The article focuses on the latter problem, and explores some of its possible consequences.


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    Community/Rural/Urban Development,

    The Economic Significance of Executive Order 13422

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    In January 2007, President Bush issued an Executive Order changing the procedures for undertaking benefit-cost analyses of proposed regulations. These changes have been hailed by some as dramatic improvements while criticized by others as representing the politicization of the evaluation process. This essay analyzes the major provisions of the new Executive Order, and concludes that it is unlikely to have much of an impact on the number or quality of regulations. Only one provision, subjecting major "guidelines" documents to mandatory benefit-cost analysis, potentially could be important, but even here there is no systematic evidence that agencies have used guidance documents to change the stringency of regulations and thereby to bypass the mandatory regulatory review for regulations. Moreover, the Executive Order leaves untouched the primary weaknesses of benefit-cost analysis as practiced by government agencies, such as the absence of standardization of values for key parameters, the use of inappropriate alternative regulations for comparison with a proposed regulation, and the general lack of either peer review or ex post re-evaluation of regulatory impact studies.

    Malleable Constitutions: Reflections on State Constitutional Reform

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    While the U.S. Constitution is difficult to amend, most states constitutions are much easier to amend. This essay explores the implications of easily amended constitutions on the nature and quality of government. Theoretically, malleable constitutions can be more innovative and responsive to changes in society; however, they also are more likely to become another venue in which interest-group policy conflicts are played out and less likely to reflect serious deliberation among both government officials and voters. Highly stable constitutions can provide more durable protection of individual rights and other benefits based on the stability of government institutions. Our review of the experiences of state governance under malleable constitutions concludes that states can capture the benefits of both stability and malleability, and thereby improve their quality of constitutional governance, by establishing a brighter line between easy to accomplish amendments and more difficult to accomplish constitutional revisions and replacements. In particular, we recommend that constitutional provisions that establish individual political and human rights should be changed only through the revision process, while provisions about the details of governance institutions should be subject to change by an easier amendment process.Constitutional Reform, Government Stability, Human Rights

    Infrared variability of Jupiter and Saturn

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    Infrared spectroscopy provides unique insights into the chemistry and dynamics of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, and of the enigmatic satellite of Saturn, Titan. The 5 micron spectral region of these objects is transparent to deep levels, and is therefore particularly useful for the identification of molecules that are present at very low (parts per billion) concentrations. In Titan, 5 micron observations probe atmospheric layers at or near the surface. Ground-based spectroscopy complements Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini measurements. The spectroscopy is sensitive to lower mixing ratios for selected molecules, while the on-board mass and infrared spectrometers probe molecules and levels that are inaccessible form the ground. The observations also provide time-based data for preparation of the upcoming missions
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