Contemporary Policy Analysis

Paperback | July 6, 2011

byMichael Mintrom

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A groundbreaking interpretation of the field, Contemporary Policy Analysis offers a state-of-the art look at what policy analysts do and how they can make the world a better place. The book is an indispensable resource for experienced policy analysts and an ideal core text for upper-levelundergraduate and first-year graduate courses in policy analysis. Contemporary Policy Analysis works from a project orientation, providing a thorough and nontechnical overview of the key concepts and analytical strategies employed by policy analysts. Opening with coverage of what policy analysts do, what governments do, and government policy objectives, the firstsection of the book then discusses how to manage policy projects, present policy advice, and perform ethical policy analysis. The second section presents a set of core analytical strategies, featuring chapters on the analysis of markets, market failure, government failure, comparative institutionalanalysis, cost-benefit analysis, implementation analysis, and - unique to this survey - gender analysis and race analysis. Each of these strategy chapters includes a step-by-step guide to performing the analysis, incorporating an example from the policy literature that follows the steps and showshow the strategy can illuminate current policy issues. In addition, the chapters are enhanced by exercises and suggestions for class projects and policy research seminars.

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A groundbreaking interpretation of the field, Contemporary Policy Analysis offers a state-of-the art look at what policy analysts do and how they can make the world a better place. The book is an indispensable resource for experienced policy analysts and an ideal core text for upper-levelundergraduate and first-year graduate courses in...

Michael Mintrom is Associate Professor of Political Studies and Coordinator of the Master of Public Policy degree at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:July 6, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199730962

ISBN - 13:9780199730964

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Table of Contents

Preface1. IntroductionThe Nature of Policy AnalysisThe Rise of Policy AnalysisThe Purpose and Organization of this BookConclusionExercisesFurther ReadingOVERVIEW OF POLICY ANALYSIS2. What Policy Analysts DoThe Social Function of Policy AnalysisWhere Policy Analysts Are EmployedHow Policy Analysts Contribute to Public Decision MakingCommon Competencies and Attributes of Successful Policy AnalystsWhy Being a Policy Analyst Is an Appealing Career ChoiceConclusionExercisesInvite a Guest to ClassFurther Reading3. What Governments DoThe Role of Government in SocietyAchieving CooperationA Review of Government Policy ActionsMarket MakingTaxesSubsidiesRegulationDirect Service SupplyFunding and ContractingPartnering and FacilitatingInformation and Social MarketingFrameworks and StrategiesSummaryIncreasing ComplexityLooking AheadExercisesFurther Reading4. Objectives of Government Policy ActionsDiscussing Government Policy ActionPromoting Human FlourishingPromoting Effective InstitutionsPromoting EfficiencyPromoting SustainabilityAdvancing Human RightsPromoting Social EquityProblem Definition and Agenda SettingWorking with Objectives, Goals, and Public PoliciesConclusionExercisesFurther Reading5. Managing Policy ProjectsThe Discipline of Project ManagementProject InitiationProject PlanningProject Execution and ControlProject ClosureDeveloping a Policy Project ProposalA Project SummaryA List of Project ObjectivesA List of Project DeliverablesA Project Task ListA Preliminary Time BudgetA Project TimelineBiographical StatementsA Project BudgetA Risk AssessmentTransitioning to Project Execution and ControlConstructing Progress ReportsManaging Your TimeMake "To Do" ListsPrioritize among ActivitiesBatch Routine TasksThink about Opportunity CostsThink in Marginalist TermsTake Care of Relations with OthersManage Your DowntimeWorking with Policy LiteratureConclusionExercisesThe Class ProjectFurther Reading6. Presenting Policy AdviceClarifying Audience NeedsStructuring a Policy ReportAbstract or Executive SummaryTable of ContentsIntroductionBackgroundAnalytical StrategyAnalysis and FindingsDiscussionPolicy RecommendationsConclusionOther ItemsEffective Presentation of EvidenceReflecting on the ContributionThe Sign-OffDeveloping Presentations and Oral BriefingsThe Importance of CreativityConclusionExercisesInvite a Guest to ClassFurther Reading7. Doing Ethical Policy AnalysisPolicy Analysis and Ethical PracticeEthical Principles for Policy AnalystsIntegrityCompetenceResponsibilityRespectConcernDoing Ethical Policy AnalysisEthical Problem DefinitionEthical Construction of AlternativesEthical Selection of CriteriaEthical Prediction of OutcomesEthical Analysis of Trade-OffsEthical Reporting PracticesConclusionExercisesInvite a Guest to ClassFurther ReadingANALYTICAL STRATEGIES8. Introduction to the Analytical StrategiesPolicy Analysts in the Policy-Making ProcessThe Analytical Strategy ChaptersChapter 9: Analysis of MarketsChapter 10: Analysis of Market FailureChapter 11: Analysis of Government FailureChapter 12: Comparative Institutional AnalysisChapter 13: Cost-Benefit AnalysisChapter 14: Gender AnalysisChapter 15: Race AnalysisChapter 16: Implementation AnalysisUse of Applied ExamplesThe Analytical Strategies and General Steps in Policy AnalysisWhen to Apply Each Analytical StrategyConclusion9. Analysis of MarketsAn Introduction to Market AnalysisConsumer Choice and the Demand Side of the MarketFirm Behavior and the Supply Side of the MarketEquilibrium in MarketsComparative Static Equilibrium AnalysisPrice Signaling and Interconnected MarketsAssumptions of the Market Model RevisitedUsing Market Analysis as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in Market AnalysisStep 1: Identify the phenomenon of interest.Step 2: Consider the behavior of consumers and producers.Step 3: Think in terms of comparative statics equilibrium analysis.Step 4: Collect and analyze the relevant information.Step 5: Draw implications for government action.An Applied ExampleStep 1: Identify the phenomenon of interest.Step 2: Consider the behavior of consumers and producers.Step 3: Think in terms of comparative statics equilibrium analysis.Step 4: Collect and analyze the relevant information.Step 5: Draw implications for government action.Advice for Analytical PracticeAnalysis of Markets and Other Analytical StrategiesChapter Content Review: A Self-TestExercisesThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading10. Analysis of Market FailureAn Overview of Market FailureInformation AsymmetriesRectifying Information AsymmetriesPositive ExternalitiesRectifying Positive ExternalitiesNegative ExternalitiesRectifying Negative ExternalitiePublic Goods: Common Pool ResourcesRectifying Problems with Common Pool ResourcesPure Public Goods: The Need for Collective ProvisionArranging Collective ProvisionNatural Monopolies and How They Can Be ManagedSocial Equity Concerns and How They Can Be AddressedUsing Market Failure as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in the Analysis of Market FailureStep 1: Specify the good or service of interest.Step 2: Identify the consumers and producers and the location of their transactions.Step 3: Using the tools of market analysis, construct a simple model of how an efficient market would allocate this good or service.Step 4: State the market failure that you believe is present in this context.Step 5: Analyze the actions of consumers and producers and how those actions contribute to market failure.Step 6: Estimate the financial implications of the market failure, and note any other salient impacts.Step 7: Identify efforts made by consumers, producers, and any other nongovernmental actors to address the market failure.Step 8: Suggest how government use of policy instruments could potentially address the market failure.An Applied ExampleStep 1: Specify the good or service of interest.Step 2: Identify the consumers and producers and the location of their transactionsStep 3: Using the tools of market analysis, construct a simple model of how an efficient market would allocate this good or service.Step 4: State the market failure that you believe is present in this context.Step 5: Analyze the actions of consumers and producers and how those actions contribute to market failure.Step 6: Estimate the financial implications of the market failure and note any other salient impacts.Step 7: Identify efforts made by consumers, producers, and any other nongovernmental actors to address the market failure.Step 8: Suggest how government use of policy instruments could potentially address the market failure.Advice for Analytical PracticeMarket Failure and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading11. Analysis of Government FailureAn Overview of Government Failure and Its AnalysisGovernment and Coordination ProblemsPolitical ControlProvider CapturePerverse IncentivesGoal DisplacementInstitutional InertiaUsing Government Failure as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in the Analysis of Government FailureStep 1. Define the area of policy interest.Step 2. Determine the objectives of government action.Step 3. Note the nature of information and coordination problems that can arise through reliance on decentralized, private decision making.Step 4. Contrast the current or favored government actions with possible alternatives.Step 5. Identify opportunities for undue political interference in program management.Step 6. Identify opportunities for provider capture.Step 7. Identify perverse incentives and unintended outcomes.Step 8. Propose changes in policy design to reduce observed government failure.Step 9. Consider ways that reliance on government action could be reduced over time. An Applied ExampleAn Applied ExampleStep 1. Define the area of policy interest.Step 2. Determine the objectives of government action.Step 3. Note the nature of information and coordination problems that can arise through reliance on decentralized, private decision making.Step 4. Contrast the current or favored government actions with possible alternatives.Step 5. Identify opportunities for undue political interference in program management.Step 6. Identify opportunities for provider capture.Step 7. Identify perverse incentives and unintended outcomes.Step 8. Propose changes in policy design to reduce observed government failure.Step 9. Consider ways that reliance on government action could be reduced over time.Advice for Analytical PracticeAnalysis of Government Failure and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading12. Comparative Institutional AnalysisAn Overview of Comparative Institutional AnalysisUsing Comparative Institutional Analysis as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in Comparative Institutional AnalysisStep 1: Select and refine the analytical questions.Step 2: Develop a research design, and select cases.Step 3: Collect and analyze the relevant information.Step 4: Isolate the relationships between institutional choice and observed outcomes.Step 5: Present your findings, and make recommendations.An Applied ExampleStep 1: Select and refine the analytical questions.Step 2: Develop a research design, and select cases.Step 3: Collect and analyze the relevant information.Step 4: Isolate the relationships between institutional choice and observed outcomes.Step 5: Present your findings, and make recommendations.Advice for Analytical PracticeComparative Institutional Analysis and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesInvite a Guest to ClassThe Class ProjectThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading13. Cost-Benefit AnalysisAn Overview of Cost-Benefit AnalysisUsing Cost-Benefit Analysis as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in Cost-Benefit AnalysisStep 1: Define the scope of the study.Step 2: Identify all negative and positive effects of the policy.Step 3: Estimate the monetary costs and benefits of the policy.Step 4: Take account of opportunity costs.Step 5: Calculate net present value.Step 6: Reflect on the value of human life and quality-of-life issues.Step 7: Report study assumptions and limitations.Step 8: Present results using several scenarios.An Applied ExampleStep 1: Define the scope of the study.Step 2: Identify all negative and positive effects of the policy.Step 3: Estimate the monetary costs and benefits of the policy.Step 4: Take account of opportunity costs.Step 5: Calculate net present value.Step 6: Reflect on the value of human life and quality-of-life issues.Step 7: Report study assumptions and limitations.Step 8: Present results using several scenarios.Advice for Analytical PracticeCost-Benefit Analysis and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesThe Class ProjectThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading14. Gender AnalysisGender and Race AnalysisPolicy MotivesPolicy ActionsAn Overview of Gender AnalysisAnalysis of Aggregate StatisticsProcess TracingTests for Discriminatory PracticesUsing Gender Analysis as an Analytical FrameworkGender Analysis and Problem DefinitionGender Analysis and Construction of AlternativesGender Analysis and Selection of CriteriaGender Analysis and Prediction of OutcomesReporting Gender AnalysisSteps in Gender AnalysisStep 1. Select a specific context in which women appear significantly disadvantaged relative to men.Step 2. Assemble evidence allowing you to illustrate differences in men's and women's experiences in similar contexts.Step 3. Develop a process-tracing method to show how specific institutional arrangements, social practices, or decision-making are discriminatory.Step 4. Highlight discriminatory policies or practices, and show how they disadvantage women compared with men.Step 5. Propose policy actions to rectify the discrimination and disadvantage.Step 6. Address the view that gains for women spell losses for men.An Applied ExampleStep 1. Select a specific context in which women appear significantly disadvantaged relative to men.Step 2. Assemble evidence allowing you to illustrate differences in men's and women's experiences in similar contexts.Step 3. Develop a process-tracing method to show how specific institutional arrangements, social practices, or decision making are discriminatory.Step 4. Highlight discriminatory policies or practices, and show how they disadvantage women compared with men.Step 5. Propose policy actions to rectify the discrimination and disadvantage.Step 6. Address the view that gains for women spell losses for men.Advice for Analytical PracticeGender Analysis and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesThe Policy Research SeminarFurther Reading15. Race AnalysisAn Overview of Race AnalysisTesting for Statistical Discrimination versus Racial PrejudiceConfronting Misattribution ProblemsTracing Complex ProcessesUsing Race Analysis as an Analytical StrategyRace Analysis and Problem DefinitionRace Analysis and Construction of AlternativesRace Analysis and Selection of CriteriaRace Analysis and Prediction of OutcomesReporting Race AnalysisSteps in Race AnalysisStep 1. Select a specific context in which significant racial disparities are known or expected to exist.Step 2. Assemble evidence allowing you to confirm the existence of racial disparities.Step 3. Develop a process-tracing method to show how specific institutional arrangements, social practices, or decision making are discriminatory.Step 4. Highlight discriminatory policies or practices, and show how they disadvantage specific racial groups.Step 5. Propose policy actions to rectify the discrimination and disadvantage.Step 6. Scrutinize the proposed policy actions to avoid unintended negative effects.Step 7. Estimate the gains for all groups that would result from effective policy change.An Applied ExampleStep 1. Select a specific context in which significant racial disparities are known or expected to exist.Step 2. Assemble evidence allowing you to confirm the existence of racial disparities.Step 3. Develop a process-tracing method to show how specific institutional arrangements, social practices, or decision making are discriminatory.Step 4. Highlight discriminatory policies or practices, and show how they disadvantage specific racial groupsStep 5. Propose policy actions to rectify the discrimination and disadvantage.Step 6. Scrutinize the proposed policy actions to avoid unintended negative effects.Step 7. Estimate the gains for all groups that would result from effective policy change.Advice for Analytical PracticeRace Analysis and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesFurther Reading16. Implementation AnalysisAn Overview of Implementation AnalysisEnvisioning Policy SuccessIdentifying Tasks and Task DependenciesIdentifying Threats to Successful ImplementationClosing Knowing-Doing GapsPlanning for EvaluationUsing Implementation Analysis as an Analytical FrameworkSteps in Implementation AnalysisStep 1. Identify the overall purpose of the new policy, where it will be implemented, and how success has been defined.Step 2. Identify who will be responsible for policy implementation and the behavioral changes that implementation is expected to produce.Step 3. Specify the institutional, organizational, and procedural changes required to support the new policy.Step 4. Treating implementation as a project, note the key tasks required to establish the new policy context.Step 5. Identify any significant threats to successful implementation and how they can be addressed.Step 6. Consider how institutional inertia might hinder change and how it can be overcome.Step 7. Ensure provisions have been made for evaluation of the new policy and associated programs.An Applied ExampleStep 1. Identify the overall purpose of the new policy, where it will be implemented, and how success has been defined.Step 2. Identify who will be responsible for policy implementation and the behavioral changes that implementation is expected to produce.Step 3. Specify the institutional, organizational, and procedural changes required to support the new policy.Step 4. Treating implementation as a project, note the key tasks required to establish the new policy context.Step 5. Identify any significant threats to successful implementation and how they can be addressed.Step 6. Consider how institutional inertia might hinder change and how it can be overcome.Step 7. Ensure provisions have been made for evaluation of the new policy and associatedAdvice for Analytical PracticeImplementation Analysis and Other Analytical StrategiesExercisesInvite a Guest to ClassThe Class ProjectThe Policy Research SeminarFurther ReadingIMPROVING YOUR PRACTICE17. Developing as a Policy Analyst and AdvisorThe Power of Positive ThinkingDeveloping Openness and CreativitySkill Building Through Deliberate PracticeBecoming a Change LeaderFurther ReadingBibliographyIndex