Lecture 6: Evaluating Policy
1. Define and Analyze the Problem
a. What is the root cause of the problem?
b. Which groups are impacted by the problem & how?
c. Set policy goals. What outcomes do you think the policy should have?
2. Consider Policy Design
a. Which policy tools to use?
b. Does the policy treat the symptoms or the root cause?
c. What are some possible positive consequences of the policy?
d. What are some possible negative consequences of the policy
3. Develop Evaluative Criteria
4. Will the policy fail & if so due to what explanation?
• Regulate—licensing, inspection, enforcements of standards, application of sanctions
• Subsidize—loans, direct payments or benefits, tax credits, price supports
• Ration—limit access to scarce resources
• Tax & Spend—tax an activity at a level that encourages or discourages it, spend money on
• Contract Out—contract for government services from the private sector or buy products
for government agencies
• Use Market Incentives—a special category of taxation or imposition of fees that creates
incentives to change behavior & achieve goals & objectives
• Privatize—transferring public services from government to the private sector
• Charge Fees—fees for select services
• Educate—provide information to the public through formal programs or other actions
• Create Public Trusts—holding public property in trust for citizens indefinitely
• Conduct Research—conduct or support research & development
• Effectiveness—the likelihood of achieving policy goals & objectives or demonstrated
achievement of them
o Only concern is if it achieved its goals
• Efficiency—the achievement of program goals or benefits in relationship to the costs
• Equity—fairness or justice in the distribution of the policy's costs, benefits, & risks across
o Can be subjective; 2 approaches either if it protects those at risk or if it treats all the
• Liberty/Freedom—the extent to which public policy extends or restricts privacy &
individual rights & choices
• Political Feasibility—the extent to which elected officials accept & support a policy
o Do elected officials support it?
• Social Acceptability—the extent to which the public will accept & support a policy