Policy ideas

last non trivial update: september 2022

Welcome to the Policy Ideas section! Sometimes, I have a few small policy ideas that come to mind after reading an article, watching a video or having an interesting discussion with someone. Most of them are public policy ideas that can be applied in the French national framework or in the European framework. They don’t have any kind of validity, they are just my own ideas that I haven’t necessarily explored in depth but I thought it might be interesting to share them. I try to categorise these ideas and give references. As this is still a bit of a theme for my blog, most of my ideas are related to AI (but more on the long term side of the issue) and animal welfare.

If you’re interested by evidence-based decision making, I highly recommend to read Reasoned politics by Magnus Vinding.

Some previous small considerations (briefly)

under construction

Disclaimer: I do not have strong views on the following expect maybe for animal welfare policies so I’ll be happy to heard your opinion and belief on any of these ideas.

Artificial Intelligence

medium-term AI safetyPromote by, e.g funding, more work on the monitoring and evaluation of AI systemsEU institutions or member States could try funding methods for assessing the impacts of AI systems and following the evolving AI risk landscape . One goal here is to create metrics and mechanisms to assess progress in AI, its applications and impacts on society as well.Clarke et al., The Center for the Study of Existantial Risk, Cambridge 2021
medium-term AI safetyTax on AGISlowing and discouraging rapid advances in the capabilities of powerful AI systems to focus more broadly on AI safety and the alignment problem.W. Naudé & N. Dimitri, The race for an artificial general intelligence: implications for public policy, 2020 & Armstrong, Bostrom & Shulman, Racing to the Precipice: a Model of Artificial Intelligence Development, 2013
AI safety global cooperationCreate an Intergovernmental Panel on Artificial Intelligence Risksto be completedto be completed
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Animal welfare

As mentioned in my first blog post, the consumption of animals produces large negative externalities to society as well as being a morally questionable practice with regard to the interest of the animals to not suffer. Our society must therefore develop new models of food production and consumption. To initiate an agricultural and food transition that truly takes non-human animals into account, this brief table contains a non-exhaustive series of complementary policy that can be implemented in the short and long term and that have sometimes been tested abroad. Public policies concerning animal welfare can, I think, be divided into several sub-categories. Firstly, policies concerning farmed animals, secondly, policies concerning wild animals, and thirdly, policies concerning animal exploitation outside of farming (experimentation, captivity in zoos etc.). I am mainly informed in policies concerning farmed animals and I do not have strong views otherwise.

Alternative proteinsPigouvian taxation on animal productsLivestock farming has strong negative externalities on society. In general, economic agents internalise externalities through the price, so a tax on meat would probably lead to a reduction in its consumption.Papers of animal welfare economists R. Espinosa & N. Treich
Alternative proteins & Climate changeSubsidies for alternative protein innovationsPlant-based alternatives have greater impact on capital employed than others decarbonization levers in all others sectors. Unfortunately, current public policies in France regarding plant alternatives are highly coercive and discourage innovation in this sector and therefore run counter to a certain effectiveness in the fight against global warming and the ethical requirement of animal welfare.BCG report
Alternative proteinsIntroducing a daily vegan alternative in schools and more widely in public catering establishmentsto be completedto be completed
Livestock farmingRemove force-feeding from the law as part of the definition of foie grasto be completedto be completed
Livestock farmingLimiting the duration of transport of live animalsto be completedto be completed
Livestock farmingStrengthen controls on slaughterhouses through continuous monitoringto be completedto be completed
Livestock farmingProhibit slaughter without prior stunningto be completedto be completed
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Political system

Voting systemReform voting system by implement approval votingApproval voting is probably the most feasible and consensual alternative to the first-past-the-post system, i.e the one that modifies the current voting system as little as possible, both in terms of its logic and its practical organisation, while having the maximum effect on its properties from an axiomatic/mathematical point of view.Papers on the axiomatic study of voting systems by Stéphane Gonzalez
Political representationImprove political representation for future generations in the current political systemDevelop existantial risk governance through the creation of, e.g, a committee of parliamentarians responsible for the future, some variety of office charged with the task of evaluating the impacts of other departments’ activities on future generations and advocating for policies which respect the interests of the future.Tobias Baumann, “Representing future generations in the political process”
ResearchImprove linkage between research, science & policy for future generationsCreate a list of common policy and research issues between the policy and academic sectors on important emerging and extreme threats and risks. Form an external advisory group to government on extreme and existantial risks.A group of students destined to become researchers: EffiSciences (views here are my own, not those of the association)
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PandemicsVaccine market coordinationDue to supply and production uncertainties, the quantity of vaccines produced may be below socially optimal levels. Via contracts and subsidies, governments can try to coordinate the vaccine market. Tools such as mechanism design and game theory are useful in studying this coordination problem. Chick et al. (2008) show that a lack of coordination on the vaccine market for annual influenza leads to high production risks for vaccine manufacturers. The authors study various types of contracts to align the incentives of both governments and manufacturers. They show that a cost-sharing contract, in which the risks for yield uncertainty are shared, can globally optimize vaccine supply.Chick et al. (2008), Supply Chain Coordination and Influenza Vaccination
PandemicsBetter design (research side) and fund (policy side) the vaccine supply chainto be completedto be completed
Zoonoses and animal welfareComplement the current approach to disease risk management by improving the regulation of meat production/intensive livestock farmingto be completedto be completed
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