Public policy analysis

Public policy analysis

  • Study programme and level:The joint doctoral study programme Governance and Economics in the Public Sector (third cycle)
  • 2nd year
  • 5 ECTS
  • Course type: Core course
  • Lectures: 20
  • Seminar: 20
  • Other forms of study: 20
  • Individual work: 90
  • Lecturer: Stanka Setnikar Cankar, PhD

1. Objectives and competences

The aims:

  • Student understands the fundamental characteristics and performance of selected public policies,
  • Student analyzes the importance of the various economic models of public policies,
  • student understands and applies assessment criteria of public policy,
  • student is encouraged to  create complex ideas and critical/creative thinking in the design and implementation of public policies of different countries.


  • Student gains the ability to understand the basic characteristics of individual areas of public policy,
  • Student gains the ability to define the essential elements for the economic analysis of public policies,
  • Student will be able to understand cost-benefit analysis on concrete examples of public policies,
  • Student gains the ability to use the economic analysis for the preparation of measures in various areas of public policy.

2. Content (Syllabus outline)

  • The process of economic analysis of policy and the rationalist mode of public policy analysis
  • Economic analysis of public sector problem
  • Understanding : assessing the symptoms, framing the problem (analyzing market and government failures), modeling the problem (identifying policy variables) 
  • Economic analysis of solution and choosing evaluation criteria (converting goals to objectives and constrains)
  • Specifying policy alternatives and predicting impacts of alternatives and valuing them in terms of criteria 
  • Communicating analysis and key concepts for doing benefit-cost analyses
  • Determining the social discount rate, measuring consumer surplus in the presence of income effects, estimating the demand for nonmarketed goods
  • Strategies for adoption and implementation   and factors affecting success and failure, thinking strategically about policy design:  Uncertainty, error correction, redundancy and slack, anticipating evaluations, facilitating termination, coping with diversity

3.  Readings

  • Frank Fischer (Editor), Gerald J. Miller (Editor), Mara S. Sidney (Editor), 2006,  CRC; 1 edition;  Handbook of Public Policy Analysis: Theory, Politics, and Methods (Public Administration and Public Policy) (poglavja 1–8 (122 str.)).
  • William K. Bellinger, 2007, The Economic Analysis of Public Policy Routledge; New edition edition (448 str.)
  • George M. Guess and Paul G. Farnham;  2000, Georgetown University Press; 2 edition, Cases in Public Policy Analysis,(poglavja 5–8 (136 str.)).
  • Döring, T. & Blume, L. (2013): Differences in Regional Economic Prosperity: do State Policies Matter – an Empirical Investigation of Data From The German States. Mednarodna revija za javno upravo, XI(1), str. 29-46.

4. Intended learning outcomes

Student will understand real-world policymaking and how it accommodates policy economic analysis. He/she will be able to define and critically analyze policy issues and problems, choose the relevant methods and techniques for economic analysis of policy, evaluate alternative policy solutions and assess the means and costs of implementation. Student is also capable of complex study, linking his/her knowledge and understanding, and is also able to transfer knowledge to others. He/she is able to scientifically handle of particular scientific issue/problem and is qualified to continue further independent study and professional development.

5. Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures.
  • Seminar work.
  • Case study.
  • Research work, demonstration, individual working, group working.

6. Assessment

Active participation on class discussions - 20%
Seminar work on one of several specified topics - 30%
An in-class comprehensive final examination taken during the last class period - 50%