An Analysis on unintended consequences of public policies

Document Type : Review Article


PHD of public policy University of Tehran


The unintended consequences of policies are an important issue that is often overlooked by policymakers. This paper describes four case studies of the law of unintended consequences as it applies to government policy. These case studies include federal income tax, cigarette taxes, minimum wage and alcohol prohibition. The well-known result that government policies designed to bring about one set of goals often create unanticipated outcomes has taken on increasing importance as governments become ever more involved in social and economic affairs. At the end, author advice to policymakers to be careful what they wish for policies.


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