What contribution can political scientists make to the study of the content of public policy? As the profession has been increasingly concerned with the processes through which policy is made, various political scientists have become worried about the apparent neglect of the substance of the major policy choices made by governments. It is particularly appropriate for political scientists to inquire about the impact on political life of different ways of arriving at and justifying public policies. In recent years economists have developed a number of important approaches to aid in the determination of public policy. The apparent success of cost-benefit analysis, systems analysis, and program budgeting in facilitating rational choice has led some high government officials and political scientists to champion their widespread adoption. Yet questions remain: Are these modes of analysis effective in making economic choices, and if so, are they equally helpful in making political decisions? In this essay I propose to describe cost-benefit analysis, systems analysis, and program budgeting, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each method for particular purposes, and estimate the utility of each approach for governmental officials and political scientists.