USC Price School of Public Policy

Suggested Ph.D. Reading List in Public Policy

Doctoral Students

Suggested Ph.D. Reading List in Public Policy

Overview of Public Policy as a Field of Study
Policy Processes
Analysis of Policy Options

I. Overview of Public Policy as a Field of Study

  • Allison, Graham T. 1971. The Essence of Decision. Boston: Little, Brown.
  • Burstein, Paul. 1991. “Policy Domains: Organization, Culture, and Policy Outcomes.” In W. Richard Scott and Judith Blake (eds.), Annual Review of Sociology. Volume 17. Palo Alto, Calif.: Annual Reviews, Inc.
  • Jasanoff, Sheila. 1990. The Fifth Branch: Science Advisers as Policymakers. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Latin, Howard. 1988. “Good Science, Bad Regulation, and Toxic Risk Assessment.” Yale Journal on Regulation 5:89–148.
  • Lindblom, Charles. 1957. “The Science of Muddling Through.” Public Administration Review. 19:79–88.
  • Madsen, Peter, and Jay M. Shafritz (eds.) 1992. Essentials of Government Ethics. New York: Meridian/Penguin.
  • Meltsner, Arnold J. 1976. Policy Analysts in the Bureaucracy. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Meltsner, Arnold. 1972. “Political Feasibility and Policy Analysis.” Public Administration Review 32:859–867.
  • Quade, Edward S. 1989. Analysis for Public Decisions. Third Edition. New York: North–Holland.
  • Rhodes, Stephen E. 1985. The Economist’s View of the World: Government, Markets, and Public Policy. New York: Cambridge University.
  • Riker, William. 1988. “The Place of Political Science in Public Choice.” Public Choice 57:247–259.
  • Schelling, Thomas. 1981. “Economic Reasoning and the Ethics of Policy.” The Public Interest 63:37–61.
  • Tong, Rosemarie. 1986. “The Role of the Expert in a Democratic Society.” Pp. 39–61 in Ethics in Policy Analysis. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice–Hall.
  • Webber, David. 1980. “Analyzing Political Feasibility: Political Scientists’ Unique Contribution to Policy Analysis.” Policy Studies Journal 14:545–553.
  • Weiss, Carol H. 1980. Social Science Research and Decision–making. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Weiss, Carol H. 1991. Organizations for Policy Analysis: Helping Government Think. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage.
  • Wildavsky, Aaron. 1987. Speaking Truth to Power: The Art and Craft of Policy Analysis. Second Edition. Transaction Books.

II. Policy Processes

A. Agenda Setting(Including Problem Definition)

  • Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones. 1991. “Agenda Dynamics and Policy Subsystems.” Journal of Politics 53:1044–1074.
  • Dery, David. 1984. “What is a Problem, so that it May be Usefully Defined?” and “Social Problems as Opportunities for Improvement.” Pp. 21–36 in Problem Definition in Policy Analysis. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.
  • Edelman, Murray. 1988. Constructing the Political Spectacle. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Kemp, Kathleen A. 1984. “Accidents, Scandals, and Political Support for Regulatory Agencies.” Journal of Politics 46:401–427.
  • Kingdon, John W. 1984. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. Boston: Little, Brown.
  • Reinarman, Craig. 1988. “The Social Construction of an Alcohol Problem: The Case of Mothers’ Against Drunk Drivers and Social in the 1980s.” Theory and Society 17:91–120.
  • Schneider, Anne, and Helen Ingram. 1993. “Social Construction of Target Populations: Implications for Politics and Policy.” American Political Science Review 87:334–347.
  • Stallings, Robert A. 1990. “Media Discourse and the Social Construction of Risk.” Social Problems 37:80–95.

B. Formulation(Within Political and Institutional Settings)

  • Baron, David P. 1991. “Majoritarian Incentives, Pork Barrel Programs, and Procedural Controls.” American Journal of Political Science 35:57–90.
  • Becker, Gary. 1983. “A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 98:371–400.
  • Bernstein, Marver H. 1955. Regulating Business by Independent Commission. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Cone, Kenneth R. and David Dranove. 1986. “Why Did States Enact Hospital Rate-Setting Laws.” Journal of Law and Economics 29:287–302.
  • Dahl, Robert. 1962. Who Governs? New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
  • Dahl, Robert. 1982. Dilemmas of Pluralist Democracy. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
  • Denzau, Arthur T., and Michael C. Munger. 1986. “Legislators and Interest Groups: How Unorganized Interests Get Represented.” American Political Science Review 80:
  • Downs, Anthony. 1958. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
  • Domhoff, G. William. 1983. Who Rules America Now?: A View for the ’80s. New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • Domhoff, G. William. 1990. The Power Elite and the State: How Policy is Made in America. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter
  • Downs, George W., and Patrick D. Larkey. 1986. “Business Versus Government: An Invidious Comparison?” in The Search for Government Efficiency. New York: Random House.
  • Dye, Thomas. 1966. Politics, Economics and the Public. Chicago: Rand McNally.
  • Ferejohn, John, Morris Fiorina, and Richard D. McKelvey. 1987. “Sophisticated Voting and Agenda Independence in Distributive Politics Settings.” American Journal of Political Science 31:169–193.
  • Glazer, Nathan. 1975. “Toward an Imperial Judiciary.” The Public Interest 41:104–123.
  • Graddy, Elizabeth. 1991. “Interest Groups or the Public Interest—Why Do We Regulate Health Occupations?” Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 16:25–49.
  • Grindle, Merilee S., and John W. Thomas. 1989. “Policy Makers, Policy Choices, and Policy Outcomes: The Political Economy of Reform in Developing Countries.” Policy Sciences 22:213–248.
  • Kau, James B., and Paul H. Rubin. 1979. “Self–Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting.” Journal of Law and Economics 22:365–384.
  • Jenkins-Smith, Hank C., Gilbert K. St.Clair, and Brian Woods. 1991. “Explaining Change in Policy Subsystems: Analysis of Coalition Stability and Defection over Time.” American Journal of Political Science 35:851–880.
  • Kalt, Joseph, and Mark Zupan. 1984. “Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics.” American Economic Review 74:279–300.
  • Kramer, Gerald H. 1972. “Sophisticated Voting Over Multidimensional Choice Spaces.” Journal of Mathematical Sociology 2:165–180.
  • Kurland, Philip B. 1985. “Public Policy, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court.” Northern Kentucky Law Review 12:181–200.
  • Manley, John F. 1983. “Neo-Pluralism: A Class Analysis of Pluralism I and Pluralism II.” American Political Science Review 77:368–383.
  • Mills, C. Wright. 1956. The Power Elite. New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.
  • Olson, Mancur, Jr. 1971. The Logic of Collective Action. Second Edition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
  • Polsby, Nelson. 1980. Community Power and Political Theory. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1963.
  • Riker, William H. 1962. The Theory of Political Coalitions. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Romer, Thomas, and Howard Rosenthal. 1979. “Bureaucrats vs. Voters: On the Political Economy of Resource Allocation in a Direct Democracy.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 563–587.
  • Skocpol, Theda. 1979. States and Social Revolutions. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Walker, Jack L., Jr. 1991. Mobilizing Interest Groups in America: Patrons, Professions, and Social Movements. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Wright, Gerald C. Jr., Robert S. Erickson, and John P. McIver. 1987. “Public Opinion and Policy Liberalism in the American States.” American Journal of Political Science 31:980–1001.

C. Policy Implementation(Organizational and Political Dimensions)

  • Alchian, Armen A., and Harold Demsetz. 1972. “Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization.” American Economic Review 62:777–95.
  • Aldrich, Howard E., and Peter V. Marsden. 1988. “Environments and Organizations.” Pp. 361–392 in Neil J. Smelser (ed.), Handbook of Sociology. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage.
  • Bardach, Eugene. 1977. The Implementation Game. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Cohen, Michael D., James G. March, and Johan P. Olsen. 1972. “A Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice.” Administrative Science Quarterly 17:1-25.
  • Commons, John R. 1934. Institutional Economics. New York: Macmillan.
  • DiMaggio, Paul J., and Walter W. Powell. 1983. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields.” American Sociological Review 48:147–60.
  • Dranove, David, and William D. White. 1987. “Agency and the Organization of Health Care Delivery.” Inquiry 24:405–415.
  • Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. 1989. “Agency Theory: An Assessment and Review.” Academy of Management Review 14:57–74.
  • Elmore, Richard. 1978. “Organizational Models of Social Program Implementation.” Public Policy 26:185–228.
  • Elmore, Richard. 1980. “Backward Mapping: Implementation Research and Policy Decisions.” Political Science Quarterly 94:601–616.
  • Goggin, Malcolm L., Ann Bowman, James P. Lester, and Laurence J. O’Toole, Jr. 1990. Implementation Theory and Practice: Toward a Third Generation. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman/Little, Brown.
  • Hannan, Michael T., and John Freeman. 1989. Organizational Ecology. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • Hekathorn, Douglas D., and Steven M. Maser. 1987. “Bargaining and the Sources of Transaction Costs: The Case of Government Regulation.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 3:69–98.
  • Hill, Jeffrey S., and James E. Brazier. 1991. “Constraining Administrative Decisions: A Critical Examination of the Structure and Process Hypothesis.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organizations 7:373–400.
  • Ingram, Helen. 1977. “Policy Implementation through Bargaining: The Case of Federal Grants in Aid.” Public Policy 25:499–526.
  • Jensen, Michael C., and William Meckling. 1976. “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs, and Ownership Structure.” Journal of Financial Economics 3:305–60.
  • Knoke, David. 1990. Organizing for Collective Action: The Political Economies of Associations. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter.
  • Landau, Martin. 1973. “On the Concept of a Self–Correcting Organization.” Public Administration Review Nov/Dec:533–542.
  • Laumann, Edward O., and David Knoke. 1986. The Organizational State: Social Choice in National Policy Domains. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Levin, Martin, and Barbara Ferman. 1986. “The Political Hand: Policy Implementation and Youth Employment Programs.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 5:311–325.
  • Lipsky, Michael. 1980. Street–Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Service. New York: Russell Sage.
  • Lynxwiler, John, Neal Shover, and Donald A. Clelland. 1983. “The Organization and Impact of Inspector Discretion in a Regulatory Bureaucracy.” Social Problems 30:425–436.
  • McCubbins, Matthew D., Roger G. Noll, and Barry R. Weingast. 1987. “Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control.” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 3:243–277.
  • March, James G. and Johan P. Olsen. 1984. “The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life.” American Political Science Review 78:734–49.
  • Mazmanian, Daniel, and Paul Sabatier. 1983. Implementation and Public Policy. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman.
  • Meyer, John W., and Brian Rowan. 1977. “Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony.” American Journal of Sociology 83:340–63.
  • Moe, Terry. 1984. “The New Economics of Organizations.” American Journal of Political Science 28:739–777.
  • Nakamura, Robert T., and Frank Smallwood. 1980. The Politics of Policy Implementation. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Ouchi, William. 1980. “Markets, Bureaucracy and Clans.” Administrative Science Quarterly 25:129–141.
  • Pfeffer, Jeffrey, and Gerald Salancik. 1978. The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective. New York: Harper and Row.
  • Pressman, Jeffrey, and Aaron Wildavsky. 1984. Implementation. Third Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Scholz, John T. 1991. “Cooperative Regulatory Enforcement and the Politics of Administrative Effectiveness.” American Political Science Review 85:115–136.
  • Scholz, John T., Jim Twombly, and Barbara Headrick. 1991. “Street–Level Political Controls over Federal Bureaucracy.” American Political Science Review 85:829–850.
  • Scott, W. Richard. 1992. Organizations: Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. Third Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice–Hall.
  • Simon, Herbert A. 1991. “Organizations and Markets.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 5:25–44.
  • Weber, Max. 1968. Economy and Society. Three Volumes. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Weingast, Barry R., and Mark J. Moran. 1983. “Bureaucracy and Discretionary Congressional Control: Regulatory Policymaking by the Federal Trade Commission.” Journal of Political Economy 91:765–800.
  • Williamson, Oliver E. 1981. “The Economics of Organization: The Transaction Cost Approach.” American Journal of Sociology 87:548–577.
  • Wilson, James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books.
  • Wolf, Charles Jr. 1979. “A Theory of Nonmarket Failure: Framework for Implementation Analysis.” Journal of Law and Economics 22:107–139.
  • Wood, B. Dan, and Richard W. Waterman. 1991. “The Dynamics of Political Control of the Bureaucracy.” American Political Science Review 85(September), 801–828.

III. Analysis of Policy Options

A. Policy Instruments and Market and Non-Market Failures

  • Arrow, Kenneth J. 1963. “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care.” American Economic Review 53:941–73.
  • Bailey, Elizabeth E., and William J. Baumol. 1984. “Deregulation and the Theory of Contestable Markets.” Yale Journal on Regulation 1:111–37.
  • Barr, Nicholas. 1989. “Social Insurance as an Efficiency Device.” Journal of Public Policy 9:59–82.
  • Boardman, Anthony E., and Aidan R. Vining. 1989. “Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State–owned Enterprises.” Journal of Law and Economics 32:1–33.
  • Cordes, Joseph J. and Burton A. Weisbrod. 1985. “When Government Programs Create Inequities: A Guide to Compensation Policies.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 4:178–95.
  • Church, Thomas W., and Milton Heumann. 1989. “The Underexamined Assumptions of the Invisible Hand: Monetary Incentives as Policy Instruments.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 8:641–657.
  • Ellickson, Robert C. 1973. “Alternatives to Zoning: Covenants, Nuisance Rules, and Fines as Land Use Controls.” University of Chicago Law Review 40:681–781.
  • Elkin, Stephen L., and Brian J. Cook. 1985. “The Public Life of Economic Incentives.” Policy Studies Journal 13:797–813.
  • Fisher, Anthony C., John V. Krutilla, and Charles J. Cicchetti. 1972. “The Economics of Environmental Preservation: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis.” American Economic Review 62:605–619.
  • Goldberg, Victor. 1976. “Regulation and Administered Contracts.” Bell Journal of Economics 7:426–48.
  • Hansmann, Henry B. 1980. “The Role of Nonprofit Enterprise.” Yale Law Journal 89:835–898.
  • Landes, William M. and Richard A. Posner. 1985. “A Positive Economic Analysis of Products Liability.” Journal of Legal Studies 14:535–567.
  • Linder, Stephen H., and B. Guy Peters. 1989. “Instruments of Government: Perceptions and Contexts.” Journal of Public Policy 9:35–58.
  • Peltzman, Sam. 1976. “Toward a More General Theory of Regulation.” Journal of Law and Economics 19:211–240.
  • Salamon, Lester (ed.). 1989. Beyond Privatization: The Tools of Government Action. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.
  • Sappington, David E.M., and Joseph E. Stiglitz. 1987. “Privatization, Information, and Incentives.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 6:567–582.
  • Tobin, James. 1970. “On Limiting the Domain of Inequality.” Journal of Law and Economics 13:263–277.
  • Vickers, John, and George Yarrow. 1991. “Economic Perspectives on Privatization.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 5:111–132.
  • Vining, Aidan R., and David L. Weimer. 1990. “Government Supply and Government Production Failure: A Framework Based on Contestability.” Journal of Public Policy 10:1–22.
  • Weimer, David, and Aidan Vining. 1991. Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice. Second Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice–Hall.
  • Wolf, Charles Jr. 1988. Markets or Governments: Choosing Between Imperfect Alternatives. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

B. Microeconomic Models

  • Friedman, Lee S. 1984. Microeconomic Policy Analysis. New York: McGraw Hill.

C. Benefit–Cost Analysis

  • Gramlich, Edward M. 1990. A Guide to Cost Benefit Analysis. Second Edition. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice–Hall.
  • Kelman, Steven. 1992. “Cost–Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique.” Pp. 153–164 in John Martin Gillroy and Maurice Wade (eds.), The Moral Dimensions of Public Policy Choice: Beyond the Market Paradigm. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

D. Evaluation Research(Including Research Design)

  • Ferber, Robert, and Werner Z. Hirsch. 1982. Social Experimentation and Economic Policy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Langbein, Laura Irwin. 1980. Discovering Whether Programs Work: A Guide to Statistical Methods for Program Eevaluation. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1980.
  • O’Sullivan, Elizabethann, and Gary R. Rassel. 1995. Research Methods for Public Administrators. Second Edition. New York: Longman.
  • Weiss, Carol H. 1972. Evaluation Research: Methods for Assessing Program Effectiveness. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice–Hall.