Uploaded by Amina Gurbanova

The Policy Analysis Process

Policy analysis can be done before or after the policy has been
implemented. An analysis can be conducted to anticipate the
results of alternative policies in order to choose among them, or
it can be conducted to describe the consequences of a policy.
Descriptive policy analysis refers to either the historical analysis
of past policies or the evaluation of a new policy as it is
implemented. Descriptive policy analysis has also been termed
ex post,15 post hoc,16 or retrospective17 policy analysis. This
after-the-fact analysis can be further broken down into two types:
retrospective and evaluative, with retrospective analysis referring
to the description and interpretation of past policies (What
happened?) and evaluative policy analysis referring to program
evaluation (Were the purposes of the policy met?).
Chapter 2
Policy analysis that focuses upon the possible outcomes of proposed
policies has been called ex ante,18 pre hoc,19 anticipatory,20 or
prospective21 policy analysis. This analysis prior to the implementation of
policies can be subdivided into predictive and prescriptive policy analysis.
Predictive policy analysis refers to the projection of future states resulting
from adopting particular alternatives, while prescriptive policy analysis
refers to analysis that recommends actions
because they will bring about a particular result.
Types of Policy Analysis
The Policy Analysis Process
Descriptive policy analysis
(retrospective/evaluative policy
 Ex post
 Post hoc
 Retrospective
Types of Policy Analysis
Types of Policy Analysis
For example, a study of past student loan
default rates among students of different
majors would be a retrospective study.
A study of default rates among students with
particular characteristics to see if they matched
those that had been anticipated when the
program was set up would be an evaluative
policy analysis.
Policy analysis that focuses upon the
possible outcomes of proposed policies
has been called (predictive/prescriptive
policy analysis)
 Ex ante
 Pre hoc
 prospective
Types of Policy Analysis
Types of Policy Analysis
A study forecasting the impact of changing the
student loan interest rate on the savings
behavior of borrowers and their parents would
be a predictive policy analysis.
A study to recommend what interest rate
should be charged on student loans to cause
potential borrowers to use family resources
before borrowing would be a prescriptive
Case study 1
Be Aware that There Is No Such Thing as an Absolutely
Correct, Rational, and Complete Analysis. Quality of
analysis can be judged only in the context of time and
resources available.
What, then, constitutes a good, complete policy
 logical,
 valid,
 replicable manner,
 economically viable,
 technically feasible,
 ethical, and
 politically acceptable
What, then, constitutes a good, complete policy analysis? The
definitions presented above suggest that a good policy analysis
addresses an important problem in a logical, valid, replicable
manner, and provides information that can be used by decision
makers in adopting economically viable, technically
feasible,ethical, and politically acceptable policies that will resolve
public issues.
Public Policy and Politics
Public Policy and Politics
So one might ask, what kinds of controls or
regulations are in place to ensure individual
safety in these amusement centers?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) is a regulatory agency
responsible for ensuring public safety for a
wide range of consumer products.
Public Policy and Politics
Public Policy and Politics
In 2013 there were 1,356 reported ride injuries at
fixed-site amusement parks.
In 2014 there were over 200,000 injuries from a
category that included ATVs, mopeds, and minibikes
over 395,000 injuries playing football.
82,000 lawn mower accidents each year
244,000 accidents caused by toys.
Based on some of these comparisons, should
we be concerned about the safety of
amusement park rides?
The Nature of Policy Analysis
The Nature of Policy Analysis
New York lawmakers were considering new
measures to curb the practice, including a
test called the Textalyzer.
Thinking Creatively about
Policy Action
Types of Analysis
Scientific Approaches
Synthesize research and theory to
understand consequences of policy
Political Approaches
Among other strategies, they suggest
the following:
Professional Approaches
They seek “truth” through scientific
ideological and partisan agendas.
no-action analysis,
quick surveys,
literature reviews,
comparison to real-world situations, passive
collection and classification,
use of analogies and metaphors,
brainstorming, and comparison with an ideal.
Evaluative Criteria for Judging
Policy Proposals
We suggest that four criteria in particular
deserve serious consideration:
 effectiveness,
 efficiency
 equity,
 political feasibility
Uber to begin using experimental selfdriving vehicles
Efficiency is a way of justifying government action on
the basis of economic concepts.
The term equity has at least two
different meanings in contemporary
policy debates:
Process equity (Robert Nozick and his book
Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974)) and
Outcomes (end-result) equity. (John Rawls
A Theory of Justice (1971)).
The concepts of efficiency and effectiveness are related but should not be confused. Maximum efficiency
may not occur at the same point where effectiveness is achieved. It may be higher or lower. For example,
assume you need to provide daily hot meals to 500 people. Any food-service provider who can do that will be
effec- tive. The food-service provider who can do that for the lowest price provides the most cost-effective
alternative. One food-service provider may offer a much cheaper price per meal—but only if you purchase at
least 1,000 meals a day. This last alter- native is more efficient (has a lower unit price) but not effective, since
it can’t satisfy your basic objective.
Effectiveness, on the other hand, is often dichotomous, rather than being a continuous variable like
efficiency. Either the program is effective or it isn’t.
Political feasibility
No formula is available for estimating
political feasibility
Political feasibility is likely to depend on
the views of a small number of people
and organizations.