Discuss the theory of public and private goods

Ideal length is 5-6 pages, 1.5 or double spaced TOTAL. You could do 3 pages for each question, or make one shorter, the other one longer. Use your discretion.


First Essay – Choose ONE of the following:

  1. Discuss the theory of public and private goods, and its explanation of why government becomes involved in policy-making. Address the different types of market failures as a part of this discussion. Integrate readings that discuss why or the degree to which governments need to respond to social problems due to market failure or collective action failure.


  1. Different theories of the policy process provide unique explanations for why policy-making occurs as it does, and why we observe the policy outcomes that we do. Pick 3 or 4 policy theories as covered in class and discuss, compare, and contrast them. Consider factors such as which actors are prioritized in these theories, the role of institutions in these theories, and the dynamics of policy-making (degree of contestation and change in policy over time). Integrate readings.


  • Do not discuss the policy process model in this question. Theories to choose from are:
    • Elite Theory
    • Group Theory
    • Institutional Theory
    • Rational Comprehensive Theory
    • Incremental Theory
    • Punctuated Equilibrium Theory


Second Essay – Answer the following:

The first three steps of the policy process model are agenda setting, policy formulation, and policy legitimation. Discuss and describe aspects of each of these steps integrating insights from relevant readings discussed in class.


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