Taking Three Small Steps Forward in the Journey of Innovation and Diffusion Study
Hwang, Suk Joon (author)
Berry, Frances Stokes (professor directing dissertation)
Iatarola, Patrice (university representative)
Feiock, Richard C. (committee member)
Yang, Kaifeng (committee member)
Florida State University (degree granting institution)
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy (degree granting college)
School of Public Administration and Policy (degree granting department)
The aim of this dissertation is to fill in the vacant spots in the innovation and diffusion study, which are meaningful but have not had much work done previously. First, most policy diffusion studies have focused on the adoption of a new policy. However, the diffusion of the repeal of an old policy also occurs across organizations and governments. Thus, the first essay in this dissertation, diffusion of the repeal of a state prevailing wage law, contributes to enrich the theoretical development of policy innovation and diffusion from a different angle, and help us learn more about why governments terminate established policies. The economists have provided economic justifications about why state prevailing wage law should be upheld or abolished depending on their stances. However, the empirical result shows that economic justification is not the most persuasive reason. In other words, other factors are also influential in the repeal of prevailing wage law: regional diffusion, political ideology, union power, socio-economic conditions, minimum wage law and so on. This result accords with the arguments of previous policy termination literatures (Cameron, 1977; Deleon, 1987) Second, policy innovation and diffusion studies have not seriously considered the role of the judicial branch as one of the important actors in the process of public policy until now, even though it is one of three branches of a modern democratic government. In this dissertation, a systematic examination regarding this issue is attempted to see what impact court rulings have on the diffusion of state adoption of a same sex marriage ban. The result shows that the backlash of gay-friendly court rulings, state public opinion favorable to same sex marriage, Federal DOMA, and supportive institutions for homosexuals in a state are influential factors when a state introduces the first same sex marriage ban regardless of state DOMAs and constitutional amendments. Furthermore, we also find that the backlash of judicial decisions does not always occur by additional multi-state analysis. More specifically, the influence of gay-friendly court rulings has changed from negative to positive in the transition from state Defense of Marriage Acts to state constitutional amendments against same sex marriage. Third, more effort is needed to reflect the innovative characteristics of policy decision-makers on policy decision making under the theoretical framework of innovation and diffusion studies. The original question of policy innovation and diffusion was about whether a state’s policy innovativeness was a general trait of the policy decision-makers (Walker, 1969). However, policy innovation and diffusion studies have, since the early 1970’s, generally focused on a specific policy over time (with several exceptions, such as Boushey, 2010; Boehmke and Skinner, 2012; Nicholson-Crotty, Sean C., et al., 2014). Thus, the third essay of this dissertation attempts to show how state innovativeness works over multiple adoptions in a specific policy arena: alcohol impaired driving policies. We find that all of the aspects of state innovativeness -- general, traffic safety, and organizational -- increase the likelihood a state adopts alcohol impaired driving laws more comprehensively. Also, the institutional bandwagon is founded as one of the important factors to increase the comprehensiveness of state adoptions of drunk driving policies.
Alcohol impaired driving, Backlash of court rulings, Diffusion, Innovativeness, Prevailing wage law, Same sex marriage
November 1, 2016.
A Dissertation submitted to the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Frances S. Berry, Professor Directing Dissertation; Patrice Iatarola, University Representative; Richard C. Feiock, Committee Member; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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