Become a public policy thinker in three easy steps..

Ajay Shah has a piece on this.

Easier said than done but he has some nice ways to think about public policy. The three steps are:

  • Step 1: What’s the market failure?
  • Step 2: What’s the proposed intervention?
  • Step 3: The hurdle of public administration

In the end he says:

Decades of Indian socialism have starved us of capabilities in economics. Everyone interested in the field of public policy should limber up with these three steps: (a) What’s the market failure? (b) What’s the minimal intervention that precisely addresses the root cause of the market failure? (c) How do we construct mechanisms through which government agencies in the real world will deliver the desired outcome, even though their first instinct is to favour laziness and corruption?

This is hard work. The outcomes of this process of thinking resist classification into prefabricated belief systems. I sometimes meet people who say “As I’m a Keynesian, I propose policy X”. That’s a great economy of thought; by reading a few books by Keynes, you have figured out the world. It’s  better to start from first principles, and analyse each problem on its merits, and engage with the gritty reality out there in figuring things out.

Well same thing could be said for this: “As I’m a Friedmanite/Hayekian, I propose policy X“. But this is going to be really appreciated as it is the in thing. The real thing is to avoid any such ideology which is difficult. Some defunct economist/political thinker is always influencing your ideas.

More important is to be humble about what you are trying to achieve and should be surprised if certain public policy experiment succeeds. And be weary of unintended consequences..

2 Responses to “Become a public policy thinker in three easy steps..”

  1. sabhlok Says:

    The actual policy process is a bit more sophisticated. Download the 10 point policy process that Swarna Bharat Party will implement:

  2. Adela Says:

    Es Feliz App, libre para Android y gratuita, creo que es una aplicación imprescindible
    para estas datas.

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