The problem of policy formulation concerns some of the deepest and most difficult issues that face individuals, business firms, governments and nations. On the one hand, the difficulties may reside in determining the optimal policies for handling situations with high combinatorial complexity or situations with complex stochastic structures. On the other hand, the difficulties may arise in framing the problem setting and in deciding which issues should be addressed by policy. The mission of the Strategy Area is to teach courses and carry out research that, as a whole, spans the space which includes both computational and cognitive difficulties in policy formulation and implementation.

The unifying commitment of those in the Strategy Area is toward the provision of prescriptive advice (policy advice) that is backed by the highest feasible levels of scholarship. The majority of the members of the Strategy Area rely on economics for their primary intellectual tools, and every member of the area is expected to be literate in this field. However, some area members may choose to use other intellectual backdrops in their work (e.g., mathematics, cognitive psychology, political science, organizational ecology, etc.).

To locate faculty with expertise in specific topics see the Faculty Expertise Guide.