Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55b6f6c457-b6fb2 Total loading time: 0.299 Render date: 2021-09-26T23:15:55.527Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Emerging Issues and Future Directions in State Policy Diffusion Research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2021

Andrew Karch*
Affiliation:
University of Texas at Austin

Abstract

This article analyzes existing scholarship on the diffusion of public policies among the American states, focusing on recent developments in this line of research and suggesting several potential avenues for future work. The analysis is organized around three fundamental questions. First, why does policy diffusion occur? Answering this question will require scholars to devote more attention to concepts such as imitation, emulation, and competition. Second, which political forces facilitate or impede policy diffusion? Answering this question will require scholars to devote more attention to the causal mechanisms at work when states adopt policies like those of other states. Third, what is being diffused? Answering this question will require scholars to think more carefully about the content of public policy, both as an outcome to be explained and as a factor that itself affects the diffusion process.

Type
Review Essay
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abbott, Andrew, and DeViney, Stanley. 1992. “The Welfare State as Transnational Event: Evidence from Sequences of Policy Adoption.” Social Science History 16:245–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allard, Scott W., and Danziger, Sheldon. 2000. “Welfare Magnets: Myth or Reality?Journal of Politics 62:350–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allen, Mahally D., Pettus, Carrie, and Haider-Markel, Donald P.. 2004. “Making the National Local: Specifying the Conditions for National Government Influence on State Policymaking.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 4:318–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Allen, Russ, and Clark, Jill. 1981. “State Policy Adoption and Innovation: Lobbying and Education.” State and Local Government Review 13:1825.Google Scholar
Arsneault, Shelly. 2000. “Welfare Policy Innovation and Diffusion: Section 1115 Waivers and the Federal System.” State and Local Government Review 32:4960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Balla, Steven J. 2001. “Interstate Professional Associations and the Diffusion of Policy Innovations.” American Politics Research 29:221–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, Frances Stokes. 1994. “Sizing up State Policy Innovation Research.” Policy Studies Journal 22:442–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, Frances Stokes, and Berry, William D.. 1990. “State Lottery Adoptions as Policy Innovations: An Event History Analysis.” American Political Science Review 84:395415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, Frances Stokes, and Berry, William D.. 1992. “Tax Innovation in the States: Capitalizing on Political Opportunity.” American Journal of Political Science 36:715–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, Frances Stokes, and Berry, William D.. 1999. “Innovation and Diffusion Models in Policy Research.” In Theories of the Policy Process, ed. Sabatier, Paul. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Berry, William D., and Baybeck, Brady. 2005. “Using Geographic Information Systems to Study Interstate Competition.” American Political Science Review 99:505–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berry, William D., Fording, Richard C., and Hanson, Russell L.. 2003. “Reassessing the ‘Race to the Bottom’ in State Welfare Policy.” Journal of Politics 65:327–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boeckelman, Keith. 1992. “The Influence of States on Federal Policy Adoption.” Policy Studies Journal 20:365–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boehmke, Frederick J., and Witmer, Richard. 2004. “Disentangling Diffusion: The Effects of Social Learning and Economic Competition on State Policy Innovation and Expansion.” Political Research Quarterly 57:3951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet, and Jones, Bradford S.. 1997. “Time Is of the Essence: Event History Models in Political Science.” American Journal of Political Science 41:1414–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., and Jones, Bradford S.. 2004. Event History Modeling: A Guide for Social Scientists. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bridges, Amy. 1997. Morning Glories: Municipal Reform in the Southwest. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Brueckner, Jan. 2000. “Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom: Theory and Evidence.” Southern Economic Journal 66:505–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buckley, Jack, and Westerland, Chad. 2004. “Duration Dependence, Functional Form, and Corrected Standard Errors: Improving EHA Models of State Policy Diffusion.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 4:94113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Canon, Bradley C., and Baum, Lawrence. 1981. “Patterns of Adoption of Tort Law Innovations: An Application of Diffusion Theory to Judicial Doctrines.” American Political Science Review 75:975–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carter, Larry E., and LaPlant, James T.. 1997. “Diffusion of Health Care Policy Innovation in the United States.” State and Local Government Review 29:1726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clark, Jill. 1985. “Policy Diffusion and Program Scope: Research Directions.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 15:6170.Google Scholar
Clark, Jill, and Lawrence French, J.. 1984. “Innovation and Program Content in State Tax Policies.” State and Local Government Review 16:11–6.Google Scholar
Clark, Jill, and Little, Thomas H.. 2002. “National Organizations as Sources of Information for State Legislative Leaders.” State and Local Government Review 34:3844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clemens, Elisabeth S. 1998. The People's Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Collier, David, and Messick, Richard E.. 1975. “Prerequisites versus Diffusion: Testing Alternative Explanations of Social Security Adoption.” American Political Science Review 69:1299–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Corbett, Thomas. 1991. “The Wisconsin Welfare Magnet Debate: What Is an Ordinary Member of the Tribe to Do When the Witch Doctors Disagree?Focus 13:1928.Google Scholar
Crain, Robert L. 1966. “Fluoridation: The Diffusion of an Innovation among Cities.” Social Forces 44:467–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Daley, Dorothy M., and Garand, James C.. 2005. “Horizontal Diffusion, Vertical Diffusion, and Internal Pressure in State Environmental Policymaking, 1989-1998.” American Politics Research 33:615–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davis, Ada J. 1930. “The Evolution of the Institution of Mothers' Pensions in the United States.” American Journal of Sociology 35:573–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dolowitz, David, and Marsh, David. 1996. “Who Learns What from Whom: A Review of the Policy Transfer Literature.” Political Studies 44:343–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dye, Thomas R. 1966. Politics, Economics, and the Public: Policy Outcomes in the American States. Chicago: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
Esping-Andersen, Gosta. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Eyestone, Robert. 1977. “Confusion, Diffusion, and Innovation.” American Political Science Review 71:441–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Figlio, David N., Koplin, Van W., and Reid, William E.. 1999. “Do States Play Welfare Games?Journal of Urban Economics 46:437–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foster, John L. 1978. “Regionalism and Innovation in the American States.” Journal of Politics 40:179–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garvey, Megan. 2004. “California Stem Cell Project Energizes Other States to Act,” Los Angeles Times, 22 November, A1.Google Scholar
Glick, Henry R. 1992. The Right to Die: Policy Innovation and Its Consequences. New York: Columbia University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glick, Henry R., and Hays, Scott P.. 1991. “Innovation and Reinvention in State Policymaking: Theory and the Evolution of Living Will Laws.” Journal of Politics 53:835–50.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Grattet, Ryken, Jenness, Valerie, and Curry, Theodore R.. 1998. “The Homogenization and Differentiation of Hate Crime Law in the United States, 1978 to 1995: Innovation and Diffusion in the Criminalization of Bigotry.” American Sociological Review 63:286307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gray, Virginia. 1973. “Innovation in the States: A Diffusion Study.” American Political Science Review 67:1174–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gray, Virginia. 1994. “Competition, Emulation, and Policy Innovation.” In New Perspectives on American Politics, eds. Dodd, Lawrence C. and Jillson, Calvin. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Google Scholar
Grossback, Lawrence J., Nicholson-Crotty, Sean, and Peterson, David A. M.. 2004. “Ideology and Learning in Policy Diffusion.” American Politics Research 32:521–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haider-Markel, Donald P. 2001. “Policy Diffusion as a Geographical Expansion of the Scope of Political Conflict: Same-Sex Marriage Bans in the 1990s.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 1:526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hays, Scott P. 1996. “Influences on Reinvention during the Diffusion of Innovations.” Political Research Quarterly 49:631–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hays, Scott P., and Glick, Henry R.. 1997. “The Role of Agenda Setting in Policy Innovation: An Event History Analysis of Living-Will Laws.” American Politics Quarterly 25:497516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hill, Kim Quaile, and Klarner, Carl. 2002. “The Many Faces of Elite Power in the System of 1896.” Journal of Politics 64:1115–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holahan, John, and Nichols, Len. 1996. “State Health Policy in the 1990s.” In Health Policy, Federalism, and the American States, eds. Rich, Robert F. and White, William D.. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.Google Scholar
Jacob, Herbert. 1988. Silent Revolution: The Transformation of Divorce Law in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Jones, Bradford S., and Branton, Regina P.. 2005. “Beyond Logit and Probit: Cox Duration Models of Single, Repeating, and Competing Events for State Policy Adoption.” State Politics and Policy Quarterly 5:420–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones, Trevor, and Newburn, Tim. 2002. “Learning from Uncle Sam? Exploring U.S. Influence on British Crime Control Policy.” Governance 15:97119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones-Correa, Michael. 2000-01. “The Origins and Diffusion of Racial Restrictive Covenants.” Political Science Quarterly 115:541–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karch, Andrew. 2006. “National Intervention and the Diffusion of Policy Innovations.” American Politics Research 34:403–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karch, Andrew. 2007. Democratic Laboratories: Policy Diffusion among the American States. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kasindorf, Martin. 2004. “California Moves Fast on Stem Cell Grants,” USA Today, 16 December, A3.Google Scholar
Kingdon, John W. 1995. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. 2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins College.Google Scholar
Kirst, Michael W., Meister, Gail, and Rowley, Stephen R.. 1984. “Policy Issue Networks: Their Influence on State Policymaking.” Policy Studies Journal 13:247–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Klase, Rebecca Tatman. 2005. “State Policy Innovation and Transfer: The Role of Bureaucratic Professional Communication Networks.” Ph.D. diss. West Virginia University.Google Scholar
Kopstein, Jeffrey S., and Reilly, David A.. 2000. “Geographic Diffusion and the Transformation of the Postcommunist World.” World Politics 53:137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Layton, Charles, and Walton, Mary. 1998. “Missing the Story at the Statehouse.” American Journalism Review 20:4263.Google Scholar
Levitt, Barbara, and March, James G.. 1988. “Organizational Learning.” Annual Review of Sociology 14:319–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lieberman, Robert C., and Shaw, Greg M.. 2000. “Looking Outward, Looking Inward: The Politics of State Welfare Innovation under Devolution.” Political Research Quarterly 53:215–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Light, Alfred R. 1978. “Intergovernmental Sources of Innovation in State Administration.” American Politics Quarterly 2:147–66.Google Scholar
Lindblom, Charles E., and Cohen, David K.. 1979. Usable Knowledge: Social Science and Social Problem Solving. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Lutz, James M. 1987. “Regional Leadership Patterns in the Diffusion of Public Policies.” American Politics Quarterly 15:387–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mansnerus, Laura. 2005. “New Jersey Faces Tough Competition for Stem Cell Scientists,” New York Times, 17 January, B1.Google Scholar
Martin, Isaac. 2001. “Dawn of the Living Wage: The Diffusion of a Redistributive Municipal Policy.” Urban Affairs Review 36:470–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGann, James. 1992. “From Academics to Ideologues: A Brief History of the Public Policy Research Industry.” PS: Political Science and Politics 25:733–40.Google Scholar
McNeal, Ramona S., Tolbert, Caroline J., Mossberger, Karen, and Dotterweich, Lisa J.. 2003. “Innovating in Digital Government in the American States.” Social Science Quarterly 84:5270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McVoy, Edgar C. 1940. “Patterns of Diffusion in the United States.” American Sociological Review 5:219–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Menzel, Donald C., and Feller, Irwin. 1977. “Leadership and Interaction Patterns in the Diffusion of Innovations among the American States.” Western Political Quarterly 30:528–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miller, Edward Alan. 2004. “Advancing Comparative State Policy Research: Toward Conceptual Integration and Methodological Expansion.” State and Local Government Review 36:3558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mintrom, Michael. 1997. “Policy Entrepreneurs and the Diffusion of Innovation.” American Journal of Political Science 41:738–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mintrom, Michael. 2000. Policy Entrepreneurs and School Choice. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
Mintrom, Michael, and Vergari, Susan. 1997. “Charter Schools as a State Policy Innovation: Assessing Recent Developments.” State and Local Government Review 29:43–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mintrom, Michael, and Vergari, Susan. 1998. “Policy Networks and Innovation Diffusion: The Case of State Education Reforms.” Journal of Politics 60:126–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mooney, Christopher Z. 2001. “Modeling Regional Effects on State Policy Diffusion.” Political Research Quarterly 54:103–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mooney, Christopher Z., and Lee, Mei-Hsien. 1995. “Legislating Morality in the American States: The Case of Pre-Roe Abortion Regulation Reform.” American Journal of Political Science 39:599627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mooney, Christopher Z., and Lee, Mei-Hsien. 1999. “Morality Policy Reinvention: State Death Penalties.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 566:8092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mossberger, Karen. 2000. The Politics of Ideas and the Spread of Enterprise Zones. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
Naroll, Raoul. 1965. “Galton's Problem: The Logic of Cross-Cultural Analysis.” Social Research 32:428–51.Google Scholar
Nathan, Richard P. 2000. Social Science in Government: The Role of Policy Researchers. Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute Press.Google Scholar
Nelson, Barbara J. 1984. Making an Issue of Child Abuse: Political Agenda Setting for Social Problems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Nice, David C. 1994. Policy Innovation in State Government. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.Google Scholar
Obinger, Herbert, and Wagschal, Uwe. 2001. “Families of Nations and Public Policy.” West European Politics 24:99114.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Peterson, Paul E. 1981. City Limits. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peterson, Paul E., and Rom, Mark C.. 1990. Welfare Magnets: A New Case for a National Standard. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Pierce, Patrick A., and Miller, Donald E.. 1999. “Variations in the Diffusion of State Lottery Adoptions: How Revenue Dedication Changes Morality Politics.” Policy Studies Journal 27:696706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rice, Ronald E., and Rogers, Everett M.. 1980. “Reinvention in the Innovation Process.” Knowledge 1:499514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rich, Andrew. 2004. Think Tanks, Public Policy, and the Politics of Expertise. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rodgers, Daniel T. 1998. Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Rogers, Everett M. 1995. Diffusion of Innovations. 4th ed. New York: The Free Press.Google ScholarPubMed
Roh, Jongho, and Haider-Markel, Donald P.. 2003. “All Politics Is Not Local: National Forces in State Abortion Initiatives.” Social Science Quarterly 84:1531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rose, Richard. 1993. Lesson-drawing in Public Policy. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House Publishers.Google Scholar
Saiz, Martin, and Clarke, Susan E.. 1999. “Economic Development and Infrastructure Policy.” In Politics in the American States: A Comparative Analysis, eds. Gray, Virginia, Hanson, Russell L., and Jacob, Herbert. 7th ed. Washington, DC: CQ Press.Google Scholar
Sapat, Alka. 2004. “Devolution and Innovation: The Adoption of State Environmental Policy Innovations by Administrative Agencies.” Public Administration Review 64:141–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Savage, Robert L. 1985. “Diffusion Research Traditions and the Spread of Policy Innovations in a Federal System.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 15:127.Google Scholar
Skocpol, Theda, Abend-Wein, Marjorie, Howard, Christopher, and Goodrich, Susan. 1993. “Women's Associations and the Enactment of Mothers' Pensions in the United States.” American Political Science Review 87:686701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spill, Rorie L., Licari, Michael J., and Ray, Leonard. 2001. “Taking on Tobacco: Policy Entrepreneurship and the Tobacco Litigation.” Political Research Quarterly 54:605–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stone, Deborah A. 1997. “State Innovation in Health Policy.” In Innovation in American Government: Challenges, Opportunities, and Dilemmas, eds. Altshuler, Alan A. and Behn, Robert D.. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
Strang, David, and Soule, Sarah A.. 1998. “Diffusion in Organizations and Social Movements: From Hybrid Corn to Poison Pills.” Annual Review of Sociology 24:265–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stream, Christopher. 1999. “Health Reform in the States: A Model of Small Group Health Insurance Market Reforms.” Political Research Quarterly 52:499525.Google Scholar
Tiebout, Charles M. 1956. “A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures.” Journal of Political Economy 64:416–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, Clive S., and Hrebenar, Ronald J.. 1992. “Changing Patterns of Interest Group Activity: A Regional Perspective.” In The Politics of Interests: Interest Groups Transformed, ed. Petracca, Mark P.. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
True, Jacqui, and Mintrom, Michael. 2001. “Transnational Networks and Policy Diffusion: The Case of Gender Mainstreaming.” International Studies Quarterly 45:2757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tweedie, Jack. 1994. “Resources Rather than Needs: A State-Centered Model of Welfare Policymaking.” American Journal of Political Science 38:651–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Volden, Craig. 2006. “States as Policy Laboratories: Emulating Success in the Children's Health Insurance Program.” American Journal of Political Science 50:294312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walker, Jack L. 1969. “The Diffusion of Innovations among the American States.” American Political Science Review 63:880–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walker, Jack L. 1981. “The Diffusion of Knowledge, Policy Communities and Agenda Setting: The Relationship of Knowledge and Power.” In New Strategic Perspectives on Social Policy, eds. Tropman, John E., Dluhy, Milan J., and Lind, Roger M.. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
Waltman, Jerold L. 1980. Copying Other Nations' Policies: Two American Case Studies. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman.Google Scholar
Weaver, R. Kent. 1989. “The Changing World of Think Tanks.” PS: Political Science and Politics 22:563–78.Google Scholar
Weissert, Carol S. 1991. “Policy Entrepreneurs, Policy Opportunists, and Legislative Effectiveness.” American Politics Quarterly 19:262–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Welch, Susan, and Thompson, Kay. 1980. “The Impact of Federal Incentives on State Policy Innovation.” American Journal of Political Science 24:715–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weyland, Kurt. 2005. “Theories of Policy Diffusion: Lessons from Latin American Pension Reform.” World Politics 57:262–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winder, David W., and LaPlant, James L.. 2000. “State Lawsuits against Big Tobacco: A Test of Diffusion Theory.” State and Local Government Review 32:132–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yamaguchi, Kazuo. 1991. Event History Analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
122
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Emerging Issues and Future Directions in State Policy Diffusion Research
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Emerging Issues and Future Directions in State Policy Diffusion Research
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Emerging Issues and Future Directions in State Policy Diffusion Research
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *