Skip to main content

Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams


A Teaching Topic in Strategy and Implementation

Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice

This topic introduces students to the important public management concept “instrument choice,” and the importance of instrument choice in determining the ability of governments to achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively. Instrument choice is the process of selecting a method or technique to ensure compliance or achieve policy objectives.

Recommended Reading (University of Toronto PPG-1001)

Ferraro, Paul J., Juan Jose Miranda, and Michael K. Price. 2011. “The Persistence of Treatment Effects with Norm-Based Policy Instruments: Evidence from a Randomized Environmental Policy Experiment.” American Economic Review 101: 318-322

Howlett, Michael. 2008. “Managing the ‘Hollow State’: Procedural Policy Instruments and Modern Governance.” Canadian Public Administration 43: 412-431.

Schneider, Anne and Helen Ingram. “Behavioral Assumptions of Policy Tools.” Journal of Politics 52, 2 (1990), 510-29.

Woodside, Kenneth. 1986. “Policy Instruments and the Study of Public Policy.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 19: 775-93.

Gladwell, Malcolm. “Wrong Turn: How the Fight to Make America’s Highways Safer Went Off Course.” The New Yorker 11 June 2001, 50-61.

Grant, Ruth W. 2011. Strings Attached: Untangling the Ethics of Incentives. Princeton University Press.

Howlett, Michael. 2011. Designing Public Policies: Principles and Instruments. New York: Routledge.

Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler. 1992. Reinventing Government. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Prince, Michael J. 2010. “Self-Regulation, Exhortation, and Symbolic Politics: Gently Coercive Governance?” In Policy: From Ideas to Implementation. Ed. Glen Toner, Leslie A. Pal and Michael J. Prince. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press: 77-108.

Sunstein, Cass and Thaler, Richard. 2008. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Yale University Press.

Source: PPG-1001 Syllabus, 2013.

Page created by: Ben Eisen, last updated 23 February 2013.





Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance