Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, 6th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Policy Analysis

Concepts and Practice, 6th Edition

By David L. Weimer, Aidan R. Vining


480 pages | 38 B/W Illus.

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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Authors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General

Student Resources

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