Business & Public Policy

In recent decades, far-reaching changes in the political, technological, economic, and institutional environment have intensified the challenges faced by managers and policymakers throughout the global economy. The restructuring of formerly socialist and newly industrializing economies, along with privatization and deregulation within industrial economies, poses fascinating questions of institutional choice and design, drawing on economics, political science, and organization theory. Technology policies and management strategies in industries such as computer software, multimedia, and biotechnology also need new conceptual frameworks. In these and other industries, the growing importance of complex global networks and inter-firm alliances creates still more opportunities for research and theory building. In short, the current environment in the public and private sectors demands new approaches to research and teaching.

Program Overview

Business and Public Policy (BPP) is an interdisciplinary program of rigorous study for students interested in conducting research on these and other questions involving the interaction of institutional design and analysis, economic incentives, firm strategy, public policy and political economy, and technology management. Students and faculty in this program employ the tools and insights of economics, political science, strategic management, and law to analyze a range of issues. Major areas of research include:

  • Comparing the performance of firms, alliances, and markets in the coordination of economic activity, and developing the tools for choice among these mechanisms.
  • Modeling the influence of political, legal, and social institutions on the behavior of private and public organizations.
  • Analyzing the strategies of firms and governments in technology development and commercialization.

Students in the BPP program work under the guidance of faculty from the business school and across campus while retaining considerable flexibility to tailor their training to their individual research interests. The program combines a structured core curriculum with student-selected discipline training in economics, political science, or sociology.

First-Person

Lucy Hu

Lucy Hu

PhD Candidate,
Business and Public Policy

"The 'theory of the firm' is at the heart of the Business & Public Policy discipline, and Professor Oliver Williamson is the driving intellect behind the theory. It all started at Berkeley, so what better place to study it?"