Introduction to Public Policy and Administration

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ECON 3101
Semester Length
15 Weeks x4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course introduces students to economic decision-making in the public sector. The role of taxation, expenditure, and economic regulation in the design of social policy is explained and analyzed. Students will apply the principles, and analyze the practices, of public management in the context of the Canadian economy. This course allows students to explore and critically evaluate the differences between private sector and public sector decision-making in reference to resource valuation, resource allocation and provision of public services. It provides an explanation and analysis of the many public institutions in Canada under the federal, provincial and municipal authority, and their role in regulating economic behaviour. It examines the role of the bureaucracy in the context of changing domestic and international forces.
Course Content
  1. Introduction to the public sector and private sector.
  2. Theories of bureaucracy and organization.
  3. Principles of economic decision-making
  4. Models of regulation and project evaluation.
  5. Economic considerations in policy design.
  6. Historical foundation of Federal-Provincial relations.
  7. Structure of government: federal, provincial, and municipal.
  8. Theories of economic regulation.
  9. Behaviour and history of Crown Corporations and Regulatory Agencies.
  10.  Budget constraints, financial resources, and national resources.
  11.  International and domestic influences.
Methods Of Instruction

Lecture and seminar.

Means of Assessment
Mid-term examination(s)   25% - 35%
Essay, Project   20% - 30%
Participation, Assignments                0% - 10%
Final Examination   30% - 35%
Total           100%

Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain and evaluate the similarities and differences between the public and private sector.
  2. Explain and critique the theory of public organization and administration.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of policy making.
  4. Develop ways to implement policy and to measure performance.
  5. Accomplish project evaluation (contingent valuation)
  6. Analyze and apply the principles of economic regulation.
  7. Define and evaluate the role of Crown Corporations and Regulatory Agencies.
  8. Analyze and explain the nature of financial resources and spending limitations.
  9. Apply decision-making principles in the context of changing international and domestic forces.
  10. Explain and analyze the nature of Federal-Provincial relations.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


One of: (instructor’s choice)

Kernaghan, Ken and David Siegal, “Public Administration in Canada”

Brander, James, “Government Policy Toward Business”

Dunn, Christopher, “The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration” 

Inwood, Gregory, "Understanding Canadian Public Administration: Theory and Practice"

or text approved by department.




No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU ECON 2XXX (3) 2009/05/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG ECON 2XXX (3) 2009/05/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ECON 2XX (3) 2009/05/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ECON 350 (3) 2009/05/01 to 2010/08/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU ECON 3500 (3) 2010/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ECON 2XX (3) 2009/05/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ADMN 3XX (1.5) or UVIC ECON 325 (1.5) 2009/05/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) No credit 2009/05/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.