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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter the author examines the forces shaping state polices, some of which create great diversity among them. He outlines a framework for analysis that focuses on four types of contextual factors: external constraints, resources, preferences, and institutions. Although some evidence indicates that resources, preferences, and at least one type of policy output—the scale of state government spending—did converge during the 1960s and 1970s, little or no further convergence has occurred since about 1980. The author then discusses each set of factors in turn, seeking to identify reasons for continued diversity in state policy outputs. The final section identifies areas where further research might be particularly useful and interesting.

Keywords: policymaking, external factors, internal factors, resources, preferences, institutions, government spending, finances, diversity, experiment

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