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Mass Administrative Reorganization, Media Attention, and the Paradox of Information

Public Administration Review, Forthcoming

NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2607110

47 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015  

Anthony M. Bertelli

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

John Andrew Sinclair

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Date Written: May 16, 2015

Abstract

How does media attention influence government decisions about whether to terminate independent administrative agencies? We argue that an agency’s salience with partisan audiences has a direct effect, but a high media profile can disrupt normal government monitoring processes and obfuscate termination decisions. We evaluate our argument in the context of a recent mass administrative reorganization by the British coalition government using probit and heteroscedastic probit regression models. Evidence suggests that termination is less likely for agencies salient in newspapers popular with the government’s core supporters, but not those read by its minority coalition partner. We also find that agencies with greater overall newspaper salience as well as younger agencies have a higher error variance.

Keywords: administrative reorganization, agency termination, accountability, media attention

JEL Classification: H11

Suggested Citation

Bertelli, Anthony M. and Sinclair, John Andrew, Mass Administrative Reorganization, Media Attention, and the Paradox of Information (May 16, 2015). Public Administration Review, Forthcoming; NYU Wagner Research Paper No. 2607110. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2607110

Anthony M. Bertelli (Contact Author)

New York University - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

John Andrew Sinclair

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

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