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Cover

Contemporary Policy Analysis

Michael Mintrom

Publication Date - July 2011

ISBN: 9780199730964

378 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $104.95

Description

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-level undergraduate 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 first section 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 institutional analysis, 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 shows how the strategy can illuminate current policy issues. In addition, the chapters are enhanced by exercises and suggestions for class projects and policy research seminars.

About the Author(s)

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.

Reviews

"Contemporary Policy Analysis should be especially useful to faculty seeking a practice-oriented approach to policy analysis that integrates analytical, strategic, and management concerns."--David A. Rochefort, Northeastern University

"There is no current text that provides detailed treatment of analytic tools without requiring a background in microeconomics. I am enthusiastic about the book's broad perspective, which addresses criteria and impacts other than economic efficiency. The writing is clear and concise, and I like the learning activities at the end of each chapter."--Megan Mullin, Temple University

"The author has done a fantastic job achieving the goals outlined in the preface. I am very much looking forward to adopting this book for my policy analysis course."--Dana Lee Baker, Washington State University

"Following on his excellent earlier work in People Skills for Policy Analysts, Mintrom continues to provide state-of-the-art knowledge of immediate use to professional policy analysts working in government and the non-governmental sector, and to those who aspire to such positions. Informed by the latest insights of policy research, Contemporary Policy Analysis provides detailed, hands-on instruction to analysts about key aspects of professional policy work, from how to manage policy research projects to how to present policy advice. Unlike other works--which stop there--this book goes further in clearly setting out the context for policy work in a survey of the activities of modern governments and an outline of the underpinnings of analysis in notions of market and government failures."--Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser University

Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Introduction
    The Nature of Policy Analysis
    The Rise of Policy Analysis
    The Purpose and Organization of this Book
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    Further Reading
    OVERVIEW OF POLICY ANALYSIS
    2. What Policy Analysts Do
    The Social Function of Policy Analysis
    Where Policy Analysts Are Employed
    How Policy Analysts Contribute to Public Decision Making
    Common Competencies and Attributes of Successful Policy Analysts
    Why Being a Policy Analyst Is an Appealing Career Choice
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    Invite a Guest to Class
    Further Reading
    3. What Governments Do
    The Role of Government in Society
    Achieving Cooperation
    A Review of Government Policy Actions
    Market Making
    Taxes
    Subsidies
    Regulation
    Direct Service Supply
    Funding and Contracting
    Partnering and Facilitating
    Information and Social Marketing
    Frameworks and Strategies
    Summary
    Increasing Complexity
    Looking Ahead
    Exercises
    Further Reading
    4. Objectives of Government Policy Actions
    Discussing Government Policy Action
    Promoting Human Flourishing
    Promoting Effective Institutions
    Promoting Efficiency
    Promoting Sustainability
    Advancing Human Rights
    Promoting Social Equity
    Problem Definition and Agenda Setting
    Working with Objectives, Goals, and Public Policies
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    Further Reading
    5. Managing Policy Projects
    The Discipline of Project Management
    Project Initiation
    Project Planning
    Project Execution and Control
    Project Closure
    Developing a Policy Project Proposal
    A Project Summary
    A List of Project Objectives
    A List of Project Deliverables
    A Project Task List
    A Preliminary Time Budget
    A Project Timeline
    Biographical Statements
    A Project Budget
    A Risk Assessment
    Transitioning to Project Execution and Control
    Constructing Progress Reports
    Managing Your Time
    Make "To Do" Lists
    Prioritize among Activities
    Batch Routine Tasks
    Think about Opportunity Costs
    Think in Marginalist Terms
    Take Care of Relations with Others
    Manage Your Downtime
    Working with Policy Literature
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    The Class Project
    Further Reading
    6. Presenting Policy Advice
    Clarifying Audience Needs
    Structuring a Policy Report
    Abstract or Executive Summary
    Table of Contents
    Introduction
    Background
    Analytical Strategy
    Analysis and Findings
    Discussion
    Policy Recommendations
    Conclusion
    Other Items
    Effective Presentation of Evidence
    Reflecting on the Contribution
    The Sign-Off
    Developing Presentations and Oral Briefings
    The Importance of Creativity
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    Invite a Guest to Class
    Further Reading
    7. Doing Ethical Policy Analysis
    Policy Analysis and Ethical Practice
    Ethical Principles for Policy Analysts
    Integrity
    Competence
    Responsibility
    Respect
    Concern
    Doing Ethical Policy Analysis
    Ethical Problem Definition
    Ethical Construction of Alternatives
    Ethical Selection of Criteria
    Ethical Prediction of Outcomes
    Ethical Analysis of Trade-Offs
    Ethical Reporting Practices
    Conclusion
    Exercises
    Invite a Guest to Class
    Further Reading
    ANALYTICAL STRATEGIES
    8. Introduction to the Analytical Strategies
    Policy Analysts in the Policy-Making Process
    The Analytical Strategy Chapters
    Chapter 9: Analysis of Markets
    Chapter 10: Analysis of Market Failure
    Chapter 11: Analysis of Government Failure
    Chapter 12: Comparative Institutional Analysis
    Chapter 13: Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Chapter 14: Gender Analysis
    Chapter 15: Race Analysis
    Chapter 16: Implementation Analysis
    Use of Applied Examples
    The Analytical Strategies and General Steps in Policy Analysis
    When to Apply Each Analytical Strategy
    Conclusion
    9. Analysis of Markets
    An Introduction to Market Analysis
    Consumer Choice and the Demand Side of the Market
    Firm Behavior and the Supply Side of the Market
    Equilibrium in Markets
    Comparative Static Equilibrium Analysis
    Price Signaling and Interconnected Markets
    Assumptions of the Market Model Revisited
    Using Market Analysis as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in Market Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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 Practice
    Analysis of Markets and Other Analytical Strategies
    Chapter Content Review: A Self-Test
    Exercises
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    10. Analysis of Market Failure
    An Overview of Market Failure
    Information Asymmetries
    Rectifying Information Asymmetries
    Positive Externalities
    Rectifying Positive Externalities
    Negative Externalities
    Rectifying Negative Externalities
    Public Goods: Common Pool Resources
    Rectifying Problems with Common Pool Resources
    Pure Public Goods: The Need for Collective Provision
    Arranging Collective Provision
    Natural Monopolies and How They Can Be Managed
    Social Equity Concerns and How They Can Be Addressed
    Using Market Failure as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in the Analysis of Market Failure
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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.
    Advice for Analytical Practice
    Market Failure and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    11. Analysis of Government Failure
    An Overview of Government Failure and Its Analysis
    Government and Coordination Problems
    Political Control
    Provider Capture
    Perverse Incentives
    Goal Displacement
    Institutional Inertia
    Using Government Failure as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in the Analysis of Government Failure
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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 Practice
    Analysis of Government Failure and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    12. Comparative Institutional Analysis
    An Overview of Comparative Institutional Analysis
    Using Comparative Institutional Analysis as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in Comparative Institutional Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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 Practice
    Comparative Institutional Analysis and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    Invite a Guest to Class
    The Class Project
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    13. Cost-Benefit Analysis
    An Overview of Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Using Cost-Benefit Analysis as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in Cost-Benefit Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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 Practice
    Cost-Benefit Analysis and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    The Class Project
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    14. Gender Analysis
    Gender and Race Analysis
    Policy Motives
    Policy Actions
    An Overview of Gender Analysis
    Analysis of Aggregate Statistics
    Process Tracing
    Tests for Discriminatory Practices
    Using Gender Analysis as an Analytical Framework
    Gender Analysis and Problem Definition
    Gender Analysis and Construction of Alternatives
    Gender Analysis and Selection of Criteria
    Gender Analysis and Prediction of Outcomes
    Reporting Gender Analysis
    Steps in Gender Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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 Practice
    Gender Analysis and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    15. Race Analysis
    An Overview of Race Analysis
    Testing for Statistical Discrimination versus Racial Prejudice
    Confronting Misattribution Problems
    Tracing Complex Processes
    Using Race Analysis as an Analytical Strategy
    Race Analysis and Problem Definition
    Race Analysis and Construction of Alternatives
    Race Analysis and Selection of Criteria
    Race Analysis and Prediction of Outcomes
    Reporting Race Analysis
    Steps in Race Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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.
    Advice for Analytical Practice
    Race Analysis and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    Further Reading
    16. Implementation Analysis
    An Overview of Implementation Analysis
    Envisioning Policy Success
    Identifying Tasks and Task Dependencies
    Identifying Threats to Successful Implementation
    Closing Knowing-Doing Gaps
    Planning for Evaluation
    Using Implementation Analysis as an Analytical Framework
    Steps in Implementation Analysis
    Step 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 Example
    Step 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.
    Advice for Analytical Practice
    Implementation Analysis and Other Analytical Strategies
    Exercises
    Invite a Guest to Class
    The Class Project
    The Policy Research Seminar
    Further Reading
    IMPROVING YOUR PRACTICE
    17. Developing as a Policy Analyst and Advisor
    The Power of Positive Thinking
    Developing Openness and Creativity
    Skill Building Through Deliberate Practice
    Becoming a Change Leader
    Further Reading
    Bibliography
    Index