Fall 2005 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Family Policy
Instructor(s): Cynthia Osborne
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 64042
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.101
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: This course will explore US family policy in both its origins and its current form. Although the focus will be on the US, we will also look to other countries' approaches to family policy. We will examine the goals and design of policies at both the state and federal level by answering a series of key questions. In terms of goals, do policies promote marriage? Do they promote employment? To what extent do they support traditional one earner married couple households? To what degree are the costs of raising children and caring for elderly parents spread across the larger society or born by individual families? In terms of design, do family policies in the US primarily benefit poor individuals or all Americans? Is family policy principally created and implemented at the federal, state, or local level? Most importantly, we will consider how these varying policy goals and designs affect poverty, children, marriage, and women's labor force participation. In the context of these broader issues, students will gain specific knowledge of policies including the Family and Medical Leave Act, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, Social Security, Medicaid, and tax policies such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, general child tax credits, and child care deductions. Classes will be primarily discussion based, so completing assigned readings will be critical.

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