Nonlinear constraint and incremental policy-making the cases of the unemployment insurance program and of the Canadian energy policies

by Migone, Andrea Riccardo

Abstract (Summary)
In this thesis two long standing Canadian public policies have been analyzed. The goal of such analysis was to trace the pattern policy-makers followed in implementing them. In particular, attention was focused on vemg if there was a mix of linear and nonlinear dynamics decisions in these fields and on the incremental or nonincremental characteristics of such decisions. The main premise was rhat some of the increasing cornplexity of economic and social issues, and the nonlinear behavior of some economic variables might have escaped the Linear approach used by policy-mkrs and would have appeared in the political arena The thesis utilized, as analytical tool, a spectnim of decision-making that spans from incrementalism to chaos theory. Decisions were also categonzed as incrernental or nonincrernental according to their effects and structure. The assumption bere was that ideology was as strong an element in deciding which approach to follow as objective constrabts were. Data were collected from the econorny and the polity and were used to illustrate trends and outcornes of political decisions. The mathematical analysis, though, did not reveal the presence of chaos. On the other hand, there was strong evidence that the choice between incremental and nonincremental approaches was strongly dependent on the ideological stance of policy-rnakers.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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