Project Director

Mauldin, Marcus

Department Examiner

Deardorff, Michelle; Khmelko, Irina; Levine, David


Dept. of Political Science, Public Administration and Nonprofit Management


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This paper illustrates how tools-based theoretical models, like Lester Salamon’s, can be used to predict the outcome of policy tools. Theodore Lowi and Lester Salamon’s theoretical models were applied to select provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to generate predictions regarding their outcomes. The validity of these predictions was assessed by comparing them to current empirical data and trends. Ultimately, this paper sought to demonstrate how tools-based models can be used to predict policy tool outcomes relatively accurately. Our evaluation used Lowi’s original model detailed in his Four systems of policy, politics, and choice (1972) paper and Salamon’s model detailed in his book, The tools of government: A guide to new governance (2002). Lowi’s model was applied to the ACA to illustrate why theoretical models need to allow for the multidimensional nature of public policy. The limited classification system Lowi’s model employs ultimately prevented it from generating any useful predictions for the selected provisions of the ACA. Because Salamon’s model allowed for the multidimensional nature of public policy and policy tools, it was able to generate relatively accurate predictions. However, Salamon’s model and other tools-based approaches still require much improvement to be useful to policymakers today. A universal, less subjective classification system is needed to classify policy tools. Additionally, the predicted outcomes of policy tools need to be more clearly defined and qualitatively defined. If these improvements are made, the predictions generated by tools-based models will be replicable and thus of greater utility to policymakers.


Special to all of the following for their assistance with the development of this thesis: Director: Dr. Marcus Mauldin DHON Committee: Dr. Michelle Deardorff, Dr. Irina Khmelko, & Dr. David Levine


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Medical laws and legislation; United States. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- Economic aspects


Salamon; Lowi; ACA


Political Science

Document Type



91 leaves




Under copyright.