The Fly Ball Effect: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Impacts of Short-Term Seed Grants

Public Budgeting & Finance (Winter 2011): 74-92. Winner of the 2012 Jesse Burkhead Award for Best Paper Published in PBF in 2011

19 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2011 Last revised: 31 May 2013

See all articles by James W. Douglas

James W. Douglas

University of South Carolina

Roger E. Hartley

University of Baltimore

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The federal government has long used grants-in-aid to encourage state and local governments to carry out federal policies. Little research has been done that examines how short-term seed grants affect program continuation. We propose the “fly ball effect” as a theoretical framework for understanding how seed money should impact program maintenance. Our theory suggests that short-term seed grants by themselves should result in considerable funding uncertainty and program eliminations or stagnation once the initial grant money expires. We use data from drug court start-ups in four states to provide empirical support for our theory. We argue that understanding the logic of the fly ball effect can help granting governments to improve the effectiveness of their grant funding systems, at least as measured by strong program continuation and expansion.

Keywords: drug courts, funding, seed grants, fly ball effect, grants, grant funding

Suggested Citation

Douglas, James W. and Hartley, Roger E., The Fly Ball Effect: A Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Impacts of Short-Term Seed Grants (2011). Public Budgeting & Finance (Winter 2011): 74-92. Winner of the 2012 Jesse Burkhead Award for Best Paper Published in PBF in 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1866433

James W. Douglas

University of South Carolina ( email )

Government and International Studies
Columbia, SC 29208
United States
803-777-2707 (Phone)
803-777-8255 (Fax)

Roger E. Hartley (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21214
United States
828-458-0944 (Phone)

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