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The Political Economy of State-Level Administrative Procedure Acts


  • de Figueiredo, Rui J P, Jr
  • Vanden Bergh, Richard G


One of the most important developments in theories of American bureaucracy has been the claim that organizational procedures that are 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 (APAs) 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: (1) when Democratic legislative supermajorities face a Republican governor and (2) 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.

Suggested Citation

  • de Figueiredo, Rui J P, Jr & Vanden Bergh, Richard G, 2004. "The Political Economy of State-Level Administrative Procedure Acts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 569-588, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2004:v:47:i:2:p:569-88

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mashaw, Jerry L, 1985. "Prodelegation: Why Administrators Should Make Political Decisions," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 81-100, Spring.
    2. de Figueiredo, Rui J P, Jr & Spiller, Pablo T & Urbiztondo, Santiago, 1999. "An Informational Perspective on Administrative Procedures," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 283-305, April.
    3. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    4. McCubbins, Mathew D & Noll, Roger G & Weingast, Barry R, 1987. "Administrative Procedures as Instruments of Political Control," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 243-277, Fall.
    5. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anupam Nanda & Katherine A. Pancak, 2009. "Broker Duty to Clients: Why States Mandate Minimum Service Requirements," Alumni working papers 2009-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

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