Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

2001 Edition
| Editors: Saul I. Gass, Carl M. Harris

PUBLIC Policy analysis

  • Warren E. Walker
  • Gene H. Fisher
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/1-4020-0611-X_828

INTRODUCTION

Public policy analysis is a systematic approach to making policy choices in the public sector. It is a process that generates information on the consequences that might be expected to follow the adoption of various policies. Its purpose is to assist policymakers in choosing a preferred course of action from among complex alternatives under uncertain conditions.

The word “assist” emphasizes that policy analysis is used by policymakers as a decision aid, just as check lists, advisors, and horoscopes can be used as decision aids. Policy analysis is not meant to replace the judgment of the policymakers (any more than an X-ray or a blood test is meant to replace the judgment of medical doctors). Rather, the goal is to provide a better basis for the exercise of that judgment by helping to clarify the problem, presenting the alternatives, and comparing their consequences in terms of the relevant costs and benefits.

The word “complex” means that the system being studied contains...

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References

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren E. Walker
    • 1
  • Gene H. Fisher
    • 1
  1. 1.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA