The Utilization of Policy Analysis by State Agency Officials

  • Lester J
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Abstract

Findings from a 1988 survey of U.S. state officials working in the areas of hazardous wastes, economic development, welfare, and education suggest that these officials do not appear to rely heavily on policy analysis from research organizations or from university faculty; instead, they rely principally on policy advice from their peers in other state agencies, newspapers, their counterparts in federal agencies, and staff from the governors' office. In attempting to understand knowledge utilization, the study found that among the variables considered utilization of policy information is best explained by state contextual variables and user characteristics. That is, agency officials in wealthier, more conservative, moralistic states used policy analysis in their work more than officials in poorer, more traditional, liberal states. In addition, more experienced and better educated officials used policy advice less than inexperienced and less educated officials.

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Authors

  • James P. Lester

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