Policy Analysis, Evaluation and Implementation

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Ms Mara Airoldi NAB5.18


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Public Management and Governance. This course is available on the MPhil/ PhD in Employment Relations & Org Behaviour and MPhil/ PhD in Management. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course focuses on how analysis needs to take account of, and be designed to relate to, the processes through which policies are made. It gives an introduction to economic concepts and leading intellectual arguments of the 20th Century: e.g., the nature of science, critiques of positivism; the nature of power; efficiency, equity and justice; and market and government failure. Case studies of failures and successes are used to illustrate these concepts. The first term focuses on concepts and cases relevant to understanding economic appraisal and evaluation (including cost-benefit analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria decision analysis); the second term focuses on reform of systems of delivering public services focusing on health care and education (including contracting out, quasi-markets and performance measurement).


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 14 hours of lectures and 16 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

One individual essay of 2,500 words on economic evaluation to be produced early in Lent Term as preparation for the summative assessment.

Indicative reading

The course text is MC Munger, Analyzing Policy, Norton, 2000. Background is provided by D M Hausman & M S McPherson, Economic Analysis and Moral Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, 1996 & 2006; W Parsons, Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis, Edward Elgar Publishing 1997; H Varian, Intermediate Microeconomics, Sixth edition, Norton & Company, 2003; M Parkin, M Powell, K Matthews, Economics (3rd Edition). Addison-Wesley, 1997. In addition students will be introduced to extracts from classic works of leading scholars including: T S Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (2nd edn), University of Chicago Press, 1972; J Rawls, A Theory of Justice, Oxford University Press, 1971; J Rawls, Justice as Fairness, Harvard University Press, 2001; S Lukes, Power: A Radical View, 2nd edn, Palgrave, 2005; T C Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict, Oxford University Press, 1973; K Binmore, Game Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; D W Hands, Reflection without Rules, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001; O E Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies, The Free Press, 1975; O E Williamson, The Economic Institutions of Capitalism: Firms, Markets and Relational Contracting, New York, The Free Press, 1985; J Le Grand, The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services Through Choice and Competition, Princeton University Press, 2007; R H Thaler and C R Sunstein, Nudge, Penguin, 2009. Students will examine extracts from official reports.


Essay (25%, 2500 words), project (25%) and presentation (5%) in the LT.
Essay (40%, 5000 words) in the ST.
Presentation (5%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2012/13: 35

Average class size 2012/13: 18

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 74.1%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)