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Decision Analysis

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Decision Analysis

This topic explores the use of logical methods for improving public decision-making. Such methods include "models for decision-making under conditions of uncertainty or multiple objectives; techniques of risk analysis and risk assessment; experimental and descriptive studies of decision-making behavior; economic analysis of competitive and strategic decisions; techniques for facilitating decision-making by groups; and computer modeling software and expert systems for decision support."

Topic Learning Outcome: Students will be familiar with the basic components of decision analysis, including risk analysis and economic analysis of strategic decisions.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Decision Chain; Decision Point;

Recommended Readings

Harvard University: API-201 Quantitative Analysis and Empirical Methods

Hammond, John S.; Keeney, Ralph L.; and Raiffa, Howard. Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Life Decisions. Chapters 6-8 and 10.

Stokey, Edith; and Zeckhauser, Richard. A Primer for Policy Analysis. Pages 201-213 and 219-229.

Gonick, Larry; and Smith, Woollcott. 1994. The Cartoon Guide to Statistics. (A nice lay-person’s guide to decision analysis by three prominent leaders in the field.)

Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) We often have to make decisions under uncertainty. In a short one-page paper, describe one technique for approaching a decision about which you have imperfect information (use an example, real or hypothetical).

2.) What is a formal decision model? How can these be helpful in public policy development?

Page created by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen on 19 May 2015.


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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance