"Economic analysis can yield important insights, even into controversial discussions in the popular press. Consider pharmaceutical firms that are accused of holding back information on marketed drugs. What are the likely effects of the different solutions proposed? Consider the general uneasiness of the public with the role of money in politics. How will campaign finance reform affect political decisions? Consider affirmative action policies, which are sometimes opposed because of the belief that they reduce competition. How should they be designed to minimize these effects?
These are not only important but also fascinating questions. Ultimately, the appropriate design of policies requires understanding behaviour and this often leads to surprising discoveries, like affirmative action policies that actually foster competition."
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