What Works is a concise methods text that represents a new approach for policy program analysis. The authors, Meier and Gill, combine statistics with normative concerns. They consider how things might be, and they focus on subsets of cases that differ from the norm. Their approach uses regression and methods in a qualitative, yet rigorous manner.In What Works, the authors address questions such as the following: why do some agencies learn to perform missions faster than others? What factors influence this learning? In which states do criminal justice policies based on deterrence work? What do excellent school districts do differently from those that are simply better than average? Why do some firms comply with public policy quickly while others wait?The case examples the authors employ and evaluate are especially helpful. What Works will appeal to anyone seriously interested in policy analysis, and in learning about--and understanding--new approaches for policy program analysis.
Preface -- Zen and the Art of Policy Analysis: Substantively Weighted Analytical Techniques -- An Introduction to Substantively Weighted Least Squares -- The Theory and Application of Generalized Substantively Reweighted Least Squares -- Substantively Weighted Analytical Techniques for Successes and Failures: SWLS and GSRLS -- Separating Excellent Agencies from the Good Ones: Pushing the Extremes of the Data Distribution -- Weighting with an Exogenous Variable or with Two Exogenous Variables: Equity Versus Excellence in Organizations -- SWAT in Pooled Analysis -- The Zen and the Practice: Some Final Remarks