Often described as a public policy “bible,” Weimer and Vining remains the essential primer it ever was. Now in its sixth edition, Policy Analysis provides a strong conceptual foundation of the rationales for and the limitations to public policy. It offers practical advice about how to do policy analysis, but goes a bit deeper to demonstrate the application of advanced analytical techniques through the use of case studies. Updates to this edition include:

  • A chapter dedicated to distinguishing between policy analysis, policy research, stakeholder analysis, and research about the policy process
  • An extensively updated chapter on policy problems as market and governmental failure that explores the popularity of Uber and its consequences
  • The presentation of a property rights perspective in the chapter on government supply to help show the goal tensions that arise from mixed ownership
  • An entirely new chapter on performing analysis from the perspective of a public agency and a particular program within the agency’s portfolio: public agency strategic analysis (PASA)
  • A substantially rewritten chapter on cost–benefit analysis, to better prepare students to become producers and consumers of the types of cost–benefit analyses they will encounter in regulatory analysis and social policy careers
  • A new introductory case with a debriefing that provides advice to help students immediately begin work on their own projects

Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practices remains a comprehensive, serious, and rich introduction to policy analysis for students in public policy, public administration, and business programs.

part I|55 pages

Introduction to Public Policy Analysis

chapter 1|27 pages


chapter 2|12 pages

What is Policy Analysis?

chapter 3|14 pages

Toward Professional Ethics

part II|145 pages

Conceptual Foundations for Problem Analysis

chapter 5|40 pages

Rationales for Public Policy

Market Failures

chapter 6|16 pages

Rationales for Public Policy

Other Limitations of the Competitive Framework

chapter 7|19 pages

Rationales for Public Policy

Distributional and Other Goals

chapter 8|33 pages

Limits to Public Intervention

Government Failures

chapter 9|20 pages

Policy Problems as Market and Government Failure

The Madison Taxicab Policy Analysis Example

part III|121 pages

Conceptual Foundations for Solution Analysis

chapter 10|54 pages

Correcting Market and Government Failures

Generic Policies

chapter 11|21 pages


chapter 12|24 pages


chapter 13|20 pages

Government Provision

Drawing Organizational Boundaries

part IV|126 pages

Doing Policy Analysis

chapter 14|13 pages

Gathering Information for Policy Analysis

chapter 15|36 pages

Landing on Your Feet

Organizing Your Policy Analysis

chapter 16|22 pages

Case Study

The Canadian Pacific Salmon Fishery

chapter 17|37 pages

Cost–Benefit Analysis

Assessing Efficiency

chapter 18|16 pages

Public Agency Strategic Analysis

Identifying Opportunities for Increasing Social Value

part V|4 pages


chapter 19|2 pages

Doing Well and Doing Good