… topics organized by Subjects below and
and alphabetically at the bottom on the left menu bar

A database of topics taught in MPP and MPA programs

The entries in the database are in the form of normed topics, as specified in the Normed Topic Model.

The major focus to date has been on determining and describing 120 core normed topics, that is, the topics that from our analysis of core competencies and required courses appear to constitute the common core of MPP and MPA curricula. These are listed in Table 1. Additional normed topics are found below it in Table 2.

Table 1: Core topics
Economic Analysis

The Study of Economics

Supply, Demand, and Equilibrium

Consumer Theory and Elasticity of Demand and Supply

Commodity Taxes and Subsidies

The Price System and Price Regulation

Trade, Adjustment, and Protectionism


Producer Theory and Competition

Monopoly and Price Discrimination

Labour Markets, Transfers, and Personal Taxes

Public Goods and Commons Problems

Asymmetric Information, Signaling, and Game Theory

Macroeconomic Policy

The Study of Macroeconomics

Wealth of Nations and Economic Growth

Growth, Capital Accumulation, and the Financial System

Business Cycles and Unemployment

Inflation and Monetary Policy

Government Spending and Fiscal Policy

Quantitative Methods

The Study of Quantitative Methods

Describing Distributions

Bivariate Data

Probability Theory

Research Design

Normal Distributions and Advanced Graphs

Sampling Distributions

Estimation and Hypothesis Testing

Tests of Means and Power


Analysis of Variance

Transformation, Chi Square, Distribution Free Tests, and Effect Size

Socioeconomic and Political Context

The Study of the Socioeconomic Context for Politics and Policy

Income Inequality and Poverty

Immigration and Integration

Gender Inequality

Indigenous Peoples

Political Advocacy and the Nonprofit Sector

Global Context

The Study of Global Affairs and International Relations

National Security Considerations

International Organizations and Agreements

Evaluation and Performance Measurement

The Study of Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Fundamental Identification Problem: Causality, Counterfactual Responses, Heterogeneity, Selection

Assessing the Confounding Effects of Unobserved Factors

Sensitivity Analysis

Data Collection Strategies

Performance Measurement and Performance Management

Analytic Methods

The Study of Analytic Methods for Public Management

Futures, Foresight, and Horizon Scanning

Working with Spreadsheets

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Project Management

TQM, Six Sigma, and Lean

Environment and Sustainability

The Study of Environmental Policy and Sustainability

Environmental Risks and Hazards

Regulatory Choices in Environmental Policy

Governance and Institutions

The Study of Governance and Institutions

Constitutional Framework

Electoral Systems and Democratic Reform

Machinery of Government

Institutional Dynamics within Government


Municipal Governance

Diversity, Identity, and Rights

Courts, Tribunals, and Commissions

Indigenous Governance

Organizational Design and Behaviour

Modernizing Government

Policy Analysis and Process

The Study of Policy Analysis and Process

Interests and the Policy Process

Institutions and the Policy Process

Ideas and the Policy Process

Problem Definition and Agenda Setting

Policy Instruments and Design

Models of Decision Making

Evidence and Decision Making

Implementation and the Policy Cycle

Evaluation and the Policy Cycle

Policy Communication

Policy Communities and Networks

Implementation and Delivery

The Study of Implementation and Delivery

Strategic Management in the Public Sector

Designing the Delivery Model

Securing Legal Authority and Budgetary Resources

Promoting Innovation and Driving Change

Consulting and Communicating on Policy

Organizing and Measuring for Performance

Managing Risk

Promoting Learning

Implementing through Partners and Networks

Controlling Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Managing Emergencies and Crises

Leadership Skills

The Study of Leadership and Communication

Recognizing Values


Building Resources


Handling Complexity


Managing Oneself

Working in Organizations

Communication Skills


Speaking to Persuade

Writing to Persuade

Ethics, Rights, and Accountability

The Study of Ethics in Public Policy and Management

Moral Philosophy and Political Philosophy

Ends, Means, and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Paternalism and the Welfare State

Human Rights, Liberty and Limits

Responsibility and Accountability

Public Financial Management

The Study of Financial Management in the Public Sector

Planning and Budgeting

Costing and Forecasting

Capital Budgeting

Management Control in Public Expenditure

Audit and Oversight of Public Expenditure

Human Resource Management

The Study of HRM in the Public Sector

Promoting Excellence and Diversity

Workplace Issues and Labour Relations

Information and Technology Management

The Study of Information and Technology Management in the Public Sector

Managing New Technologies

Information Management and Cybersecurity

Table 2: Additional normed topics


and Skills

Policy Analysis and Process
Implementation and Delivery
Economic Analysis
Quantitative Methods
Analytic Methods
Leadership Skills
Communication Skills

and Context

Governance and Institutions
Ethics, Rights and Accountability
Socioeconomic and Political Context
Global Context


Public Financial Management
Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Human Resource Management
Information and Technology Management
Regulatory Policy and Management
Local Government Management
Nonprofit Management and Advocacy


Macroeconomic Policy
International Development
Public Finance and Social Policy

The History of Higher Education: Public Policy and the Division of Responsibilities

The Public Interest and the Private Interest in Higher Education

Selectivity, Sorting, and Inequality in Higher Education

Tuition, Accessibility and Financial Assistance: Architecture and Purpose

Helping All Students Succeed in Higher Education

The Structure of Higher Education as Public Policy

Higher Education’s Impact on Economic Development: Human Capital, Innovation and Research

Higher Education’s Impact on Social Development: Social Capital and Disparities in Income and Opportunity

Cost Control and Compensation in Higher Education

Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education: Quality Measurement, Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance

Governments and University Governance: Academic Freedom and the Public Interest

Technology and the Changing Policy Environment for Higher Education

Employment, Labour and Immigration
Cities, Urban and Regional Development
Environment and Sustainability
Agriculture and Resources
Science, Technology and Innovation
Industry, Trade and Investment
Energy, Transport and Infrastructure
Defence, Security and Foreign Relations
Policing and Justice Administration
Arts and Culture
Financial Markets


Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 3 June 2019.

Image: book-clip-art-3.png, at, accessed 12 December 2015.