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MPP/MPA Core Learning Outcomes
Linked learning outcomes for core competencies, core subjects, core topics and core concepts
 

This page illustrates how core competencies, core subjects, core topics and core concepts in MPP, MPA and similarly titled programs can be linked through descriptions of learning outcomes. We are formulating learning outcomes at three levels: 1) for each of the seven MPP/MPA Core Competencies; 2) for each of the sixteen core subjects; and 3) for each of the 120 Normed Core Topics. Those for the first two levels are presented in Table 1. From the descriptions in Table 1 we can see the hierarchies involved. Each core competency is addressed through instruction in one to three core subjects. Each core subject is defined by three to eighteen core topics. Each core topic relies on one or more core concepts.

Whereas each core subject is exclusive to one of the seven high-level core competencies and each core topic is exclusive to one of the core subjects, most core concepts are not exclusive to a single core topic. Nevertheless, to avoid repetition, in our normed core topic definitions we have associated each of the several hundred core concepts with only one core topic – the one in which, in our view, the concept plays the most central role. To illustrate, in Table 2 we list the core topics and learning outcomes for one of the core subjects, Economic Analysis. Economic Analysis is a concept-heavy subject and we see that its 12 core topics make reference to an average of about ten concepts per topic. This is higher than the average. At this point we have assigned about 70% of the approximately one thousand concepts in the Concept Dictionary to one or other of the 120 core topics for an average of about six core concepts per core topic.

Table 1: Learning Outcomes for the MPP/MPA Core Competencies and Core Subjects

Core Competency

Learning Outcomes for the Core Subjects associated with the Core Competency
(note that most of the 120 normed topics are also referenced in the parentheses)

1. Applying Economics and Statistics Concepts to Public Policy and Management Problem
(30 topics)

a. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of microeconomic concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with the theory of the firm, consumer theory, externalities, public goods and commons problems, market failure and optimal intervention, monopoly and oligopoly, signaling, game theory, taxes and transfers, trade, welfare economics, and supply and demand).

b. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of macroeconomic policy concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with appropriate revenue and expenditure systems; government deficits, debt, and fiscal consolidation; fiscal stabilization policy; monetary policy; the economics of taxation; and tax incentives, compliance, and enforcement).

c. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of quantitative methods concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with descriptive statistics, looking at data, probability concepts, sampling, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, simple regression, multivariate analysis, omitted variable bias, randomized trials, research design, ethical issues in research, and panel data).

2. Applying Analytic Methods and Evaluation Concepts to Public Policy and Management Problems
(12 topics)

a. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of analytic methods concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with decision analysis, agency theory, cost-benefit analysis, project management, risk management, and ethical research design).

b. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of evaluation concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with evaluation purposes and types, the identification problem, the confounding effects of unobserved factors, sensitivity analysis, data collection strategies, and performance measurement and performance management).

3. Understanding the Socioeconomic, Political and Global Contexts of Public Policy and Management
(12 topics)

a. A basic understanding of the socioeconomic and political context in which public policy and management is conducted (including facts and concepts associated with indigenous peoples, the immigrant society, the impact on decision making of gender and other group identities, inequality, family structure and poverty, and education and labour markets).

b. A basic understanding of the international and intergovernmental context in which public policy and management is conducted (including the implications of globalization for state sovereignty and democracy, the meaning and implications of national interests, and the relationship between sub-national states and the national government).

c. A basic understanding of the environmental and sustainability concepts (including those associated with defining environmental issues, environmental risks and hazards, and regulatory choices).

4. Applying Policy and Management Analysis Concepts to Public Policy and Management Problems
(18 topics)

a. The ability to assess the range of stakeholders and partners involved in decision-making, their interests and positions, and manage their interaction in the decision-making process; assess and interpret evaluation results for programs and apply their lessons to program design and reform by applying the basic tools of policy and management analysis, including policy analysis, implementation planning, organizational behaviour, managing conflict, implementing through markets, and multi-level governance.

5. Understanding Democratic Institutions and Processes, and Acting Ethically
(24 topics)

a. A basic understanding of the political institutions in democratic societies (including their implications for the formulation and implementation of public policy, including the political context of policy making, the policy cycle, federalism, political and administrative responsibilities, the international context of domestic institutions, indigenous rights and institutions, executive leadership in government, Westminster parliamentary systems, courts and judicial review, public and para-public institutions, institutional designs and paths, New Public Management, public opinion and policy frames, political parties and elections, framing and agenda setting, and interests and lobbying).

b. A basic understanding of the principles and implications of ethics, rights and accountability in public policy and management (including public management ethics, ethics in management, implementation and accountability, deception and transparency, and distributive justice).


6. Managing Financial, Human and Information Resources in Public and Nonprofit Institutions
(12 topics)

a. Appropriately utilize and interpret results of the application of financial management tools and concepts to the analysis of public policy and management (including concepts associated with accounting, financial statements, planning and budgeting, costing and forecasting, capital budgeting, risk-based control, and audit and oversight).

b. Appropriately utilize interpret results of the application of human resource management tools and concepts to public management (including those associated with recruitment and renewal, evaluating talent, and workplace issues and labour relations).

c. Appropriately utilize interpret results of the application of information and technology management tools and concepts to public policy management (including those associated with the costs and challenges of IT in the public sector, online service delivery, and open government).

7. Leading and Communicating in Public Policy and Management
(12 topics)

a. Appropriately utilize leadership tools and concepts in public management (including those associated with differences between leadership in public and private organizations, how values differ, diagnosing the leadership challenge, identifying resources and strategies for leading change, inspiring and persuading, and negotiating).

b. Appropriately utilize communication tools and concepts in public management (including those associated with the craft of memo writing, elements of rhetoric, and generating emotional impact through narrative and storytelling).

 

 

Table 2: Normed Core Topics and Learning Outcomes for Economic Analysis

Core topics

Learning Outcomes, with links to Core Concepts

Theory of the Firm

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the theory of the firm to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Average Cost, Budget Constraint, Budget Line, Budget Set, Decreasing Returns to Scale, Demand Function Facing the Firm, Diminishing Marginal Product, Discount Rate, Division of Labour, Economic Rent, Endogenous Variable, Exogenous Variable, Factor Demand Curve, Factors of Production, Increasing Returns to Scale, Isoquant, Jensen's Theory of the Firm, Monotonic Property of Technology, Quasi-Fixed Factor of Production, Short Run vs. Long Run, Technological Change, Technological Constraints, Variable Cost, Variable Factor of Production.

Consumer Theory

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying consumer theory to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts:  Assumption of Convex Preferences; Assumption of Monotonic Preferences; Assumption of Transitive Preferences; Budget Constraint; Budget Set;  Consumer Optimization Principle; Consumer's Surplus; Demand Curve; Indifference CurveMarginal Rate of Substitution; Marginal Utility; Optimal Choice; Optimization Principle; Reservation PriceTechnical Rate of Substitution; Utility.

Externalities

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the lens of externalities to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Coase Theorem, Externalities, Opportunity Cost

Public Goods and Commons Problems

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of public goods and commons problems to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Free Rider, Public Good, Tragedy of the Commons

Market Failure and Optimal Intervention

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of market failure and optimal intervention to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Market Failure; Moral Hazard.

Monopoly, Oligopoly and Cournot Competition

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of monopoly and oligopoly to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Cournot Competition Model, Discriminating Monopolist; Invisible Hand; Monopoly; Natural Monopoly; Oligopoly; Ordinary Monopolist; Perfectly Competitive Market.

Asymmetric Information and Signaling

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of asymmetric information and signalling to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Asymmetric Information

Game Theory

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of asymmetric information and signalling to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Game Theory, Dominant Strategy, Mixed Strategy Game, Nash Equilibrium, Prisoner's Dilemma, Pure Strategy Games, Sub-Game Perfect Equilibrium.

Taxes and Lump Sum Transfers

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of asymmetric information and signalling to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Ad Valorem Subsidy; Ad Valorem Tax; Deadweight Loss of a Tax; Pigouvian Tax

Trade Theory

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying trade theory to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Fixed Exchange Rate; Floating Exchange Rate; Net Exports; Open Economy; Trade Deficit; Trade Surplus; Net Capital Outflow (NCO); Tariff

Welfare Economics and Welfare Policy

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying the principles of welfare economics to the analysis of public policy and management problems, including the following concepts: Xxx Economic Liberalism; Economic Model; Economics; First Theorem of Welfare Economics; Isowelfare Curve; Kaldor-Hicks Criterion; Microeconomics; Monotonic Transformation; Pareto Efficient Allocations; Pareto Improvement; Political Economy; Productivity; Rent Control; Rent-Seeking; Second Theorem of Welfare Economics; Social Welfare Function; Utility; Utility Function

Supply and Demand

Appropriately utilize and interpret results of applying to the analysis of public policy and management problems the basic principles of supply and demand, including following concepts: Net Demand; Demand Curve; Diminishing Marginal Rate of Substitution; Diminishing Technical Rate of Substitution; Engel Curve; Equilibrium Principle; Extensive Margin; Giffen Good; Income Elasticity of Demand; Income Offer Curve; Indifference Curve; Inferior Good; Inverse Demand Function; Law of Demand; Luxury Good; Market Demand Curve; Necessary Good; Normal Good; Ordinary Good; Perfect Complements; Perfect Substitutes; Short Run Industry Supply.

 

Page Created: Ian Clark, last updated on 19 August 2015.


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