Why do public policies fail? Categorizing the challenges

written by Matt Andrews

Governments—and other public policy organizations—undertake many different tasks, implementing a diverse set of policies and projects. Many of these policies and projects are not considered successful. My recent blog post noted that failure occurs more often than anyone would likely consider optimal.

There are many reasons for policy failure, and my own research on this topic is well underway: I have been analyzing a sample of fifty case studies of policy failures to identify reasons for failure and will be discussing findings in a working paper coming soon.  As I work, I am always trying to learn from the thoughts and analysis of others, and to find good teaching materials to use in engaging executives on the topic (materials that are easy to read, and offer pragmatic views that have some evidentiary backing in the broader literature).

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