The Public Interest

The plan and purpose of a Social Report

Mancur Olson, Jr.

Spring 1969

SHOULD the federal government issue regular social reports on the state of the nation? And should it continue to develop social indicators that measure its condition? To answer these questions intelligently, we also have to ask: What purpose could social reports and social indicators serve? What job is there that isn’t already being done---by the Planning-Programming-Budgeting System (PPBS) and other arrangements for bringing information and analysis to bear on policy-making—yet needs doing?  And how could such a job be done?

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