6th Edition

Policy Analysis Concepts and Practice

By David Weimer, Aidan Vining Copyright 2017
    502 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    502 Pages 38 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Often described as a public policy “bible,” Weimer and Vining remains the essential primer it ever was. Now in its sixth edition, Policy Analysis provides a strong conceptual foundation of the rationales for and the limitations to public policy. It offers practical advice about how to do policy analysis, but goes a bit deeper to demonstrate the application of advanced analytical techniques through the use of case studies. Updates to this edition include:

    • A chapter dedicated to distinguishing between policy analysis, policy research, stakeholder analysis, and research about the policy process
    • An extensively updated chapter on policy problems as market and governmental failure that explores the popularity of Uber and its consequences
    • The presentation of a property rights perspective in the chapter on government supply to help show the goal tensions that arise from mixed ownership
    • An entirely new chapter on performing analysis from the perspective of a public agency and a particular program within the agency’s portfolio: public agency strategic analysis (PASA)
    • A substantially rewritten chapter on cost–benefit analysis, to better prepare students to become producers and consumers of the types of cost–benefit analyses they will encounter in regulatory analysis and social policy careers
    • A new introductory case with a debriefing that provides advice to help students immediately begin work on their own projects

    Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practices remains a comprehensive, serious, and rich introduction to policy analysis for students in public policy, public administration, and business programs.

     Part 1: Introduction to Public Policy Analysis

    Chapter 1: Preview

    Chapter 2: What is Policy Analysis?

    Chapter 3: Toward Professional Ethics

    Part 2: Conceptual Foundations for Problem Analysis

    Chapter 4: Efficiency and the Idealized Competitive Model

    Chapter 5: Rationales for Public Policy: Market Failures

    Chapter 6: Rationales for Public Policy: Other Limitations of the Competitive Framework

    Chapter 7: Rationales for Public Policy: Distributional and Other Goals

    Chapter 8: Limits to Public Intervention: Government Failures

    Chapter 9: Policy Problems as Market and Government Failure: The Madison Taxicab Policy Analysis Example

    Part 3: Conceptual Foundations for Solution Analysis

    Chapter 10: Correcting Market and Government Failures: Generic Policies

    Chapter 11: Adoption

    Chapter 12: Implementation

    Chapter 13: Government Supply: Drawing Organizational Boundaries

    Part 4: Doing Policy Analysis

    Chapter 14: Gathering Information for Policy Analysis

    Chapter 15: Landing on Your Feet: Organizing Your Policy Analysis

    Chapter 16: Case Study: The Canadian Pacific Salmon Fisher

    Chapter 17: Cost-Benefit Analysis: Assessing Efficiency

    Chapter 18: Public Agency Strategic Analysis: Identifying Opportunities for Increasing Social Value

    Part 5: Conclusion

    Chapter 19: Doing Well and Doing Good


    David Weimer is Edwin E. Witte Professor of Political Economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

    Aidan R. Vining is CNABS Professor of Business and Government Relsations at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

    Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice is not only an excellent introduction to the field and the practice—a textbook that provides the conceptual foundations and craft skills enabling its readers to produce policy analyses competently and quickly—but also the most influential and successful attempt to organize the vast, diverse, and interdisciplinary domain of policy analysis around a core analytical vision, and the powerful theoretical apparatus associated to it.
    Paul Dragos Aligica, George Mason University

    Weimer and Vining's Policy Analysis has long been a core textbook for students learning policy analysis and for good reason. Policy Analysis has a balanced approach of teaching core economic principles, demonstrating the important role of politics of adoption and implementation, and training students in key research and communication skills needed to construct applied analyses. This new edition maintains the core strengths and includes new research on behavioral economics, updated cases studies, and a new chapter on program evaluation. It remains a classic.
    Andrew Pennock, University of Virginia