Public Administration Review

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Public Administration Review (PAR), a bi-monthly professional journal, has been the premier journal in the field of public administration research, theory, and practice for 75 years. It is published for the American Society for Public Administration,TM/SM and is the only journal in public administration that serves both academics and practitioners interested in the public sector and public sector management. Articles identify and analyze current trends, provide a factual basis for decision making, stimulate discussion, and make the leading literature in the field available in an easily accessible format. With articles on a wide range of topics and expert book reviews, PAR is exciting to read and an indispensable resource.

Latest documents

  • What Gets Measured, Gets Done: Understanding and Addressing Middle‐Class Challenges

    Middle‐class families face a range of challenges, including uneven income growth, imposing child care costs, and affordability gaps for higher education. The ideal policies by which policy makers and public administrators can aid the middle class are far from obvious. Policy solutions are likely to mirror our government and population, meaning that they will be decentralized and varied. Achieving a “growing and thriving middle class” requires understanding the composition of the middle class across the country. Benchmarking and measuring the middle‐class condition at the state and substate levels is critical to crafting and adopting effective policy solutions. This Viewpoint essay highlights the Colorado context to demonstrate the measurement of the middle class and tracking of its lived experiences.

  • Organizational Process, Rulemaking Pace, and the Shadow of Judicial Review

    Scholars have long understood that structuring internal work processes into more hierarchical or team‐based arrangements has consequences for organizational outputs. Building on this insight, this research examines the relationship between how agencies organize their rulemaking routines and the resulting rules. Tracking the job functions of rule contacts for economically significant rules proposed over a four‐year period, the analysis demonstrates that expanding the breadth of personnel types closely involved in a rulemaking is associated with a reduction in the time it takes to promulgate the rule. However, increasing the pace at which rules are finalized is not without cost, as those completed faster appear more likely to be overturned when challenged in court. The article not only adds another dimension to empirical scholarship studying rulemaking, which has largely focused on how forces originating outside the agency affect rules, but also suggests the importance of considering competing priorities in designing rulemaking processes.

  • Pay for Success: Diffusion of Policy Innovation for Social and Economic Stability

    Across the United States, communities struggle with numerous social and environmental issues, while the funding to address these issues continues to diminish. Therefore, actors inside and outside of government are seeking new policy solutions to persistent social problems. Significant hurdles to new policies exist, however, including a lack of funding and a reluctance to take on the risks inherent in implementing new programs. A recent innovation in the policy sphere, pay‐for‐success (PFS) financing, has been able to overcome these hurdles. Policy innovation does not come easily, though, and change within government is often slow and methodical. What catalyzes jurisdictions to engage with PFS? By developing an understanding of the mechanisms and processes of PFS, diffusion scholars and practitioners can facilitate innovation within jurisdictions. Such innovation, which the federal government has an opportunity to facilitate, is necessary to shift business‐as‐usual service provision and enable greater social, environmental, and economic stability.

  • Determinants of Public Administrators' Use of Performance Information: Evidence from Local Governments in Florida

    Performance management has been a focus of scholars and practitioners for more than 25 years, yet the use of performance information has not greatly expanded as a result of this attention. Acknowledging that performance measurement is not an end in itself but rather a means to enhance focus on results and value, this article evaluates the determinants of the use of performance information by local government administrators. An online survey was administered to local government employees involved in the 2015–16 Florida Benchmarking Consortium. Analysis of the data demonstrates that institutionalization of performance measurement has the strongest statistically significant positive association with the use of performance information, followed by the design adequacy of the performance measurement system.

  • Do Politicians See Eye to Eye? The Relationship between Political Group Characteristics, Perceived Strategic Plan Quality, and Strategic Consensus in Local Governing Majorities

    Although strategic consensus is a core concept in strategic management research, empirical evidence is lacking on (1) the degree of strategic consensus in public organizations, (2) how strategic consensus is impacted by group characteristics specific to public strategic decision‐making groups, and (3) how strategic plans impact these relationships. An analysis of multisource data from 1,075 governing majority members nested in 256 Flemish municipalities (Belgium) indicates that within‐group strategic consensus varies among governing majorities and is negatively impacted by political diversity and political power, but these relationships are mediated by perceived strategic plan quality. The results indicate that the idiosyncrasies of public decision‐making groups can impede high levels of strategic consensus, but strategic plans can attenuate this effect by fulfilling a boundary‐spanning role.

  • Issue Information
  • Celebrating 79 Years
  • Measuring and Managing Ex Ante Transaction Costs in Public Sector Contracting

    Transaction cost attributes, such as the complexity of the product being purchased, shape the risk that government contracts will fail. When transaction cost risks are particularly strong, a common prescription is to avoid contracting altogether or, if it is unavoidable, to spend additional resources on contract management activities. This article presents evidence on the size and variability of governments' ex ante transaction cost spending, using original data from 72 contracts issued by 47 Danish local governments. Ex ante transaction costs average 2.7 percent per contract and are relatively higher when services are more complex and lower when governments have prior contracting experience and contracts were larger. The analyses suggest the importance of distinguishing between transaction cost attributes and governments' choices to spend resources in response to them. Effective management spending in the face of transaction costs can help governments organize and capture value from contracting with private businesses.

  • Andrew G. Ferguson, The Rise of Big Data Policing: Surveillance, Race, and the Future of Law Enforcement (New York, NY: NYU Press, 2017). 272 pp. $28.00 (hardcover), ISBN: 1479892823
  • Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion

    This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States. Using the agent network diffusion (AND) model, the authors hypothesize that local climate policy innovations are portable and that cities may learn from distant jurisdictions to which they are connected through the career paths of managers, a phenomenon termed the “policy wormhole” effect. Employing a dyadic panel data set of more than 400 Florida cities from 2005 to 2010, these hypotheses are tested using dyadic event history analysis. The results support both the portable innovation hypothesis and the policy wormhole hypothesis. Cities can facilitate the diffusion of policy innovations by paying special attention to the recruitment process of city managers.

Featured documents

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