Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Policy Reinvention in the Diffusion of American State Public Health Laws

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 4:10 PM
President's Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jinhai Yu, University of Kentucky
While diffusion of state policy innovations has become an increasingly salient research topic in recent decades, policy reinvention in the diffusion process has received much less attention. This paper proposes one hypothesis of policy reinvention. That is, policies become more comprehensive over time when there is evidence of policy success of early adopters. A directed dyad-year event history analysis is conducted using a dataset on American state drunk driving regulations from 1980 to 2010. The hypothesis is tested and supported in that policy success is positively related to more comprehensive policy adoption by states. Similarities in total population size and percentage of the Evangelical Protestants, more conservative ideology and less professional state legislature, among others, are associated with more comprehensive adoption of state drunk driving regulations. The results are robust by using both “simple” and “sophisticated” measures of policy success. This study contributes to existing literature by examining the effects of policy success on reinvention.