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This research builds on the studies of politics-administration relationships at local government level. According to the public administration literature, the politics-administration relationship has dynamically evolved from orthodox dichotomy to modified dichotomy and to partnership models. Accepting the notion that professional administrators are important policy-makers along with elected officials, which is identified in modified dichotomy and partnership models, this study raises three empirical questions: How are elected and appointed executives different as policy-makers? What factors determine their interaction patterns in policy-making? And, do these two types of policy-makers have different policy preferences that account for their policy behavior? To answer these questions, this study systematically identifies incentive structures faced by local elected officials and professional administrators through integrating rational choice and sociological institutional approaches. In this framework three categories of factors that shape local officials' policy behavior are specified: organizational authority, social contexts, and career status, with each indicating authority-based, social-based, and individual-based incentives. This framework not only considers incentive factors that induce certain policy behavior, but also includes constraint factors. The main proposition is that elected officials and appointed administrators, imbedded in different social settings and with different career interest, face distinct incentives to policy-making and hold different policy preferences. Using the data collected though the mayor survey and city manager survey conducted in Florida cities in 2006, three sets of empirical models—mayor-manager difference models, policy leadership model, and policy choice models—are operated to address each empirical question. The purpose for the mayor-manager difference models is to investigate whether the survey data provide empirical validation for the theoretical incentive structure framework. The models of policy leadership and policy choices apply the incentive structure framework to explore policy-making patterns, which examine the usefulness of the framework. The results of these models lend preliminary support for the framework.