Principals, agents, and federalism : the case of clean air enforcements



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The design of implementation structures is crucial to maximizing values of stability, responsiveness, and representation in public policy processes. In spite of the importance of structure to results, very little research has been devoted to learning how particular structural types perform under stimulus conditions. This dissertation addresses the question of how one type of policy structure, the federal scheme, responds to one type of policy stimulus, the policy intervention. The vehicle for analysis is the federal structure for implementing clean air legislation. The stimuli of interest are the 1980 Reagan election and ensuing shifts in national environmental policy. A longitudinal quasiexperimental design is used to study both national and subnational clean air policy outputs between 1977 and 1985. The study finds that federalizing a policy creates a very stable implementation system vhich may be relatively unresponsive to changes in national elected political leadership.



Ai, Pollution, Government policy, Environmental policy, United States