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2005 - APSA Teaching and Learning Conference Pages: 15 pages || Words: 5113 words || 
1. Wallin, Bruce. "A Federal Deficit Reduction Simulation: Learning Politics and Policy in a Budgetary Context" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, <Not Available>. 2018-06-21 <>
Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: Nearly ten years ago I designed a federal deficit reduction simulation for use in an upper-division class on the Politics of Budgeting and Taxation, and have attempted to improve it each year. I also use a briefer version in my American Government course. The simulation involves students being assigned roles as members of Congress, researching the factors that might influence that member's perspective on budgetary issues, and then choosing among various expenditure cutting and revenue raising options presented by the US Congressional Budget Office. Students then first meet in their own chamber's party caucus to try to reach agreement on a deficit reduction package, before proceeding to work out compromises with the chamber's other party. A final compromise must be struck between the House and the Senate. I had been resistant to simulations, but now have become a strong advocate. Students consistently rate this experience (which takes up 4-5 class sessions over two weeks) as the best part of the course. Through the experience they learn how difficult it is for a member of Congress to make painful choices to reduce the federal deficit. They also learn how to negotiate and compromise. I have won two Northeastern Excellence in Teaching awards in large part due to the success of the simulation.

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