Decentralized Policy Implementation

Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 17-30, 2007

Posted: 21 May 2008 Last revised: 20 Jan 2015

See all articles by Andrew B. Whitford

Andrew B. Whitford

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

This article develops a regime-splitting process model of decentralized policy implementation to integrate two theoretical approaches rooted in the tension between local flexibility and national control. The author estimates a model that simultaneously assesses the ability of each approach to explain the outcome it is meant to map onto (case-level discretion for local flexibility and aggregate responsiveness for national control) as well as each approach's extensibility to the other approach's domain. The data for the study come from the implementation of eight primary statutes by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional offices. The results are counterintuitive: the national control approach largely explains case-level discretion, the domain of local flexibility, but retains some power for explaining aggregate responsiveness. The local flexibility perspective contributes to both case-level discretion and aggregate responsiveness. Both models work outside their traditional domains, but neither is a sufficient explanation for decentralized policy implementation.

Keywords: policy implementation, decentralization, regulation

JEL Classification: H11, D74, Q28, Q38

Suggested Citation

Whitford, Andrew B., Decentralized Policy Implementation (2007). Political Research Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 17-30, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1118015

Andrew B. Whitford (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Department of Public Administration and Policy ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-2898 (Phone)
706-583-0610 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://andrewwhitford.com

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
551
PlumX Metrics