Policy Evaluation

Many scientific papers end with a discussion of “policy implications,” a harmless conceit that masks the complicated path from science to health, social, or economic policy. Scientists and academics do have influence, but generally from sustained engagement in which the potential for action (and its unintended consequences) are distinguished from the more general scientific tasks of measurement and explanation. Penn’s PSC has been highly successful in engaging scientists in population studies who know not only how to evaluate policies, but how to innovate, influence, and implement. Thus Pauly works with Chao on evaluating HIV education programs in S. Africa and on the economic consequences of poor health for small businesses (R01 HD051468), and does economic analysis of the effects of population heterogeneity on health insurance schemes, as befits someone who is the innovator of the most famous (or infamous) policy tool of recent years. See E Klein, WashPo, 2011, “Interview with Mark Pauly, Father of the Individual Mandate.”