Speed Bumps and Roadblocks: Procedural Controls and Regulatory Change

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17 Scopus citations


This study is an attempt to relate the effectiveness of the rule-making process to political controls on the bureaucracies that create regulations. Such controls include requiring cost-benefit analysis, requiring review of regulations by a legislative committee, and requiring interest group participation in rule writing efforts. Scholars have both credited controls with allowing politicians to control future bureaucratic decision making and blamed controls for ossifying the regulatory process. This article considers eight case studies of state regulation of child care. These case studies cast doubt on the assertions that political controls play a prominent role in bureaucratic decision making. The rule-making decisions of bureaucrats in these case studies were influenced far more by executives and legislators in power and interest groups than by the presence or absence of procedural controls put in place by previous political officeholders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-58
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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