Economics Questions – Answered

  1. Explain the four demographic factors that can reduce the income inequality that is reported in conventional income distribution statistics.
  2. What factors can explain the increased income inequality that the US has experienced?
  3. Explain what Rawls means by “the veil of ignorance”. Why is that important when devising public policy?
  4. How is the poverty rate determined in the US? Do you think this is an accurate measure? Explain.
  5. Should income redistribution programs be focused on relative inequality or absolute deprivation? Explain the difference between the two in your answer.
  6. How does the supplemental poverty measure differ from the traditional measure of poverty?
  7. How do you explain the difference between the poverty gap and the actual amount of money spend on the poor?
  8. Is there some optimal amount of redistribution? Illustrate graphically and explain where you believe we are and where we should be in the war on poverty.
  9. Explain the dead weight loss that results when the federal government subsidizes medical care.

Evaluate using the net benefit calculus and be sure to discuss the source of the dead weight loss and explain using your very best economic vocabulary.

  1. How is Medicaid finance? How does spending break down between the federal and state government?
  2. How would block grants under ACA reform, affect the provision of Medicaid? If federal funding is capped at some level, how will state governments respond to increasing health care costs?
  3. Based on the Medicaid slides, if changes in the Medicaid program increase eligibility, what are two different channels that explain how increased eligibility translates into increased coverage?
  4. According to the text, how would you explain the dramatic reduction in caseloads under TANF?

Discuss three.

  1. What are the major strength and weaknesses of the Earned Income Tax Credit? Note: opposites are not acceptable.
  2. Explain the three leakages from Arthur Okun’s leaky bucket when it comes to redistribution programs.
  3. What two characteristics should be considered when trying to maximize the effectiveness of redistribution programs?
  4. What are important determinants behind the long-term funding of social security?
  5. What is the problem with the social security retirement program trying to accomplish the two objectives of encouraging people to save for retirement and providing a socially adequate level of income to the elderly?
  6. What suggestions have been made to keep the social security program solvent? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
  7. Illustrate and explain how third-party payments lead to an overuse of medical care and overall inefficiencies.
  8. Explain the relationship between asymmetric information and adverse selection and how it impacts health insurance companies.
  9. Explain how moral hazard increases the quantity of health care demanded generating higher expenditures.
  10. What is meant by “flat-of-the-curve” medicine and why is it important when it comes to health care expenditures?
  11. According to the Medicare presentation, what is the role of insurance?
  12. What payment schemes were introduced to the Medicare program to reduce costs?
  13. How successful have the above schemes been at reducing Medicare expenditures?
  14. What was the objective of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? How successful has it been at accomplishing the objective?
  15. What is one major strength and one major weakness of the ACA? Explain.
  16. How would you construct the perfect health insurance plan? How would you set it up and how would it address some of the inefficiencies of the current system? Use your best economic vocabulary when answering this question.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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