Spring 2019  |  PA 5002 Section 001: Introduction to Policy Analysis (58187)

Class Component:
1.5 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F or Audit
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Times and Locations:
Second Half of Term
03/12/2019 - 05/06/2019
Mon 06:00PM - 08:45PM
UMTC, West Bank
Carlson School of Management 1-132
Enrollment Status:
Open (34 of 35 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Process of public policy analysis from problem structuring to communication of findings. Commonly used analytical methods. Alternative models of analytical problem resolution.
Class Notes:
Class Description:
This course provides an introduction to policy analysis. A general definition of policy analysis is "a systematic and organized way to evaluate public policy alternatives or existing government programs." The key elements of policy analysis are: problem structuring, monitoring, evaluation, forecasting, policy simulation, and recommendation. There are many approaches to problem structuring. One central approach to problem structuring uses the tools of micro-economic policy analysis. This approach emphasizes the role of efficiency and choices. It is, therefore, helpful for students to understand the role that efficiency plays in policy analysis and the strengths and weaknesses associated with reliance upon the efficiency criterion in structuring policy problems and crafting policy recommendations. There are many other perspectives on the structuring problems that come before public policy makers. These perspectives, with their associated methods, involve the understanding of the policy process, an appreciation for the institutional and cultural environment within which public problems arise, and an intimate familiarity with the political aspects of many problems that involve competing goals and objectives among divergent groups in society. This course will focus most on the efficiency approach with due concern for other issues. It is often the case that policy choices involve both efficiency and equity considerations. Thus, the course details the problems associated with the frequent tensions between equity and efficiency. Many of the examples discussed in class relate to instances where market mechanisms and/or government policies fail. Throughout the course we will summarize some of the key approaches to mitigating market and government failure problems.
Learning Objectives:
1. Understanding of basic concepts, terminology, and tools of policy analysis.
2. Understanding of the microeconomic approach to policy analysis and other approaches.
3. Ability to work with quantitative and qualitative data and information to develop persuasive policy recommendations.
4. Ability to overcome evidentiary limitations when crafting policy recommendations.
5. Ability to write clear and succinct policy descriptions, analyses and recommendations designed for busy policy makers or decision makers.
6. Ability to communicate effectively to different and often diverse audiences.
7. Ability to work with others.
20% Class attendance and participation
10% Policy Analysis Plan
35% Policy Analysis Memorandum
35% Final Exam
Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/kudrle_PA5002_Spring2018.pdf (Spring 2018)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
30 March 2018

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