The Political Economy of State Level Administrative Procedure Acts
Posted: 15 Sep 2004
One of the most important developments in theories of American bureaucracy has been the claim that organizational procedures enacted by public officials have a significant impact on the nature of both bureaucratic control and performance. This development has been accompanied, however, by limited empirical investigation. We address this gap by examining the conditions under which Administrative Procedure Acts (APA) are adopted by the states. In particular, we test five hypotheses derived from the literature as to when a state-level APA (SLAPA) will be adopted. In general, two conditions increase the likelihood that a SLAPA will be adopted: first, when Democratic legislative supermajorities face a Republican governor; and second, when Democratic control is perceived to be temporary. These results indicate that existing theories emphasizing agency and dynamic effects are empirically valid, albeit with an important qualification: there is a distinctive partisan bias in the usefulness of administrative procedures for these purposes.
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