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Mintrom: Policy entrepreneurs and the diffusion of innovation

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I even say who wrote them. If you have more recent summaries to add to this collection, send them my way I guess. Sorry for the ads; they cover the costs of keeping this online.

Mintrom. 1997. Policy entrepreneurs and the diffusion of innovation. American Journal of Political Science 41:738-770.

MAIN POINT

In addition to internal characteristics and diffusion (see Berry and Berry 1990), there needs to be a policy entrepreneur in a state advocating a new policy or it won't be adopted. Like Berry and Berry, Mintrom uses Event History Analysis (EHA).

METHOD

Ys: Consideration (Y1) and approval (Y2) of school choice legislation from 1987-1992

X: Presence and intensity of entrepreneurial activity (based on surveys)

Controls: A whole bunch, designed to measure both internal characteristics and diffusion (following Berry and Berry).

FINDINGS

Active policy entrepreneurs significantly increase the probability of consideration and adoption of school choice legislation (see tables 3 and 5).

CONCERNS

  1. Entrepreneurs emerge when the government seems receptive
  2. By measuring entrepreneurs through surveys, there's a problem: We remember winners better than losers. Thus, people can name an entrepreneur better in a survey if the entrepreneur is more successful.

Research on similar subjects

Tags

Mintrom, Michael (author)Political ScienceAmerican PoliticsEvent History AnalysisPolicy EntrepreneursState Politics (U.S.)Innovation and Diffusion

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