Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Carolyn Funk

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to test an adapted model of network theory against state air pollution control institutions. Air pollution control presents a regulatory problem that has interstate, intrastate and multiple federal dimensions. It is one of extreme complexity and uncertainty, from both a regulatory and scientific perspective. The changing political environment federally has enabled states to redefine their roles in the regulatory process (Adler, 1997; Krane, 2007). Drawing from network theory in intergovernmental policy processes my research tests three key factors in explaining state air pollution levels: tenure in office of the air policy administrator, the use of air policy boards, and networking encompassing agency heads, air boards and the public. Theoretically this research builds upon important work by William Berry, Paul Teske, Lawrence O’Toole, Kenneth Meier and Mark Schneider in empirically investigating the network theory of policy behavior. Network theory, as envisioned by O’Toole and Meier, provides for systematic empirical research on intergovernmental management. This research expands the network model to incorporate citizen participation and information access in agency policy-making. Further, this research develops the ozone exposure index as the dependent measure and metric of agency performance. The study limits itself to the time frame of 1999-2007. This time-frame enables me to pool data on the instances of nonattainment of National Air Quality standards for ground-level ozone. This study limits itself to ground-level ozone as the dependent measure. Ground-level ozone is primarily regulated at the state level. It and PM2.5 represent the greatest threats to human health nationally. A series of panel data statistical models are tested revealing that the two-way generalized least squares random effects regression proves the best fit for the data. Results support the hypothesis that the tenure of the air administrator positively impacts pollution reduction. The number of citizen members on air policy boards is also found positively correlated to pollution reduction. This research contributes to the field by expanding the reach of the network model to air policy. It also incorporates citizen participation into the model. Lastly, it also posits that institutional structure can be successfully tied to performance.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2010

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