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Observations on a distributive theory of policy-making: Two American expenditure programs compared

Rundquist, Barry S. and Ferejohn, John A. (1974) Observations on a distributive theory of policy-making: Two American expenditure programs compared. In: Comparative Public Policy: Issues, Theories, and Methods. Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy Series. Sage Publications , Beverly Hills, CA, pp. 88-108. ISBN 0470541164.

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Why government policies take the form they do is a question that has long interested political scientists and is currently the focus of widespread research efforts (Heclo, 1972; Tribe, 1972; and Bauer and Jergen, 1969). There are essentially three basic approaches to this question: the environmental, the structural, and a combination of these two approaches. The first, evidenced in other papers in this volume, attempts to explain government outputs without discussing the structure of government decision-making. Implicit in this approach is the assumption that governmental decision-makers respond directly, whether rationally or like billiard balls, to environmental influences. The second approach would explain outputs only in terms of government decision-making. The implicit assumption in this approach is that decision-makers can produce outputs that differ from those imposed upon them by their environment. The third approach attempts to explain the outputs of government as a function of both government structure and environmental influences. This approach assumes that if decision-making were organized differently, different influences in the government's environment would be able to affect policy decisions, and consequently government policy would take a different form. This paper takes a prevalent theory following from this third approach and examines it in the light Of data on two expenditure programs.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 1974 Sage Publications. The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of David Griffith, Susan Rundquist, and the suggestions of Gerald Strom, Cal Clark, Lester Seligman, and Craig Liske. Formerly SSWP 33.
Series Name:Comparative Political Economy and Public Policy Series
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171205-163501270
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83713
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:02 Jan 2018 19:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:09

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