This textbook uses modern political economy to introduce students of political science, government, economics, and public policy to the politics of the policymaking process. The book’s distinct political economy approach has two virtues. By developing general principles for thinking about policymaking, it can be applied across a range of issue areas. It also unifies the policy curriculum, offering coherence to standard methods for teaching economics and statistics, and drawing connections between fields.
The book begins by exploring the normative foundations of policymaking—political theory, social choice theory, and the Paretian and utilitarian underpinnings of policy analysis. It then introduces game theoretic models of social dilemmas—externalities, coordination problems, and commitment problems—that create opportunities for policy to improve social welfare. Finally, it shows how the political process creates technological and incentive constraints on government that shape policy outcomes. Throughout, concepts and models are illustrated and reinforced with discussions of empirical evidence and case studies.
This textbook is essential for all students of public policy and for anyone interested in the most current methods influencing policymaking today.