With good cause: Bureaucratic discretion and the politics of child support enforcement

Lael R. Keiser, Joe Soss

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    87 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Theory: Open systems theories of administration suggest that implementation of a federal policy should reflect the systematic effects of state-level conditions on bureaucratic discretion. Hypotheses: Usage of the good cause exemption in the child support enforcement program will vary systematically across states depending on the internal and environmental characteristics of state bureaucracies. Methods: A pooled time-series model is used to analyze patterns of exemption in the fifty states for 1990 through 1992. Results: Discretionary use of the good cause exemption is systematically affected by partisan control of state governments, the values of state administrators, the funding decisions of elected officials, and the levels of demand placed on the bureaucracy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1133-1156
    Number of pages24
    JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
    Volume42
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1998

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